The 2011 Australian Open Tennis Championships are one of the reasons I’m proud to live in Melbourne.
Here are 7 smashing reasons to love the Australian Open
1. The tennis
Although there is plenty more to love about the Australian Open than just the tennis, without quality tennis it just wouldn’t cut it.
The Australian Open is the first grand slam event of the year and it always delivers tennis action that keeps the huge crowds of fans watching until the very end, often despite freak extreme weather conditions.
2. The Entertainment
Being a huge tennis fan, I would go to the Australian Open whether there was additional “non tennis” entertainment provided or not. But for those who aren’t quite as fanatical about tennis there is entertainment galore, which creates a great atmosphere and ensures they have a fabulous day out – and probably makes them love tennis just that little bit more too!
This year’s entertainment is all listed in the Event Guide.
3. The Ticketing Options
Unlike Wimbledon, where people queue for days with the hope of being lucky enough to score a ticket, at the Australian Open you can rock on up during the first week of play, buy a ground pass for less than $30 and get access to world class tennis on Margaret Court arena and the other show courts.
Generally if there is a queue to buy tickets, it moves fast, so there isn’t much down time waiting to get in.
If you prefer to have a reserved seat in Rod Laver or Hisense Arena, by signing up for email updates you’ll get plenty of notice about when the tickets go on sale and can get online straight away to buy excellent seats relatively easily.
Or, even better, buy an Australian Open membership (they cost next to nix in the scheme of things) and then you can buy tickets before the general public, plus get loads of other benefits.
4. The match coverage and TV screens around the grounds
There are big and small screens all around Melbourne Park showing the current matches that are being played.
If you’re waiting for the change of ends to get back to your seats in Rod Laver or Hisense Arena, there are even TV screens to view while you wait, so you can keep up with what’s going on.
All the screens give the crowds maximum possible tennis viewing; if you’ve been to the French Open you’ll know that that isn’t always the case.
5. The accessibility of the venue
Melbourne Park, where the Australian Open is held, is practically in the center of Melbourne which makes it really really easy to get to.
Unlike many other tennis events, this means there is no down time spent waiting for not-so-frequent trains or connecting shuttle buses to get to the venue.
You can walk from the city (a pleasant walk along the river it is too!), get a train or take a taxi.
And the trams from the city are free if you already have an entry ticket. Nice one.
6. The on court post match interviews
At the end of the matches that are played in Rod Laver and Hisense Arena there is always an on court, post match interview with the winner.
These interviews are less formal than a press conference and they are a fun way to get to know the players a bit better.
7. It’s about tennis and so much more
Last year it was the Hit for Haiti and this year there is the Rally for Relief to raise money for the victims of the recent floods in Queensland.
How incredible that despite the fact that it’s the day before a major tournament starts, the players are willing to pull together to put on a great show and help raise money for people who need it.
And the fans get to watch some more tennis while supporting a worthy cause.
That’s what I call Win-Win-Win.
Honourable Mention for the Ice-Creams
The Connoisseur ice-creams get an honourable mention because, although I am generally not a fan of ice-cream, I tried one the first time we went to the Aus Open in 2010 and I was instantly converted. Had to have an ice-cream every time we went back.
Seriously, these ice-creams are as good as Roger Federer.
Rafa Agrees (about the quality of the tournament, not necessarily about the ice-creams being as good as Federer)
Here are Rafa’s thoughts from a recent interview written up on Tennis X
“I think the Australian Open probably is the easier Grand Slam for the players. The facilities are better than the rest of the tournament because you have everything very close, the hotel. The tournament always is improving, is creating new areas for the players. That’s fantastic, no?
I think is a tournament is improving more every year. So just we can say thanks to the tournament. Seriously, for me, with me, the organization, the director of tournament was always fantastic. Just can say thanks very much because the support, they make me feel like home. Is one of the tournaments that I am always very happy to be back.”
The whole event is really efficiently organised and managed.
Plus there are two courts that have a roof. No need to explain why that’s a good thing!
What do you love most about the Australian Open?
Until next time
Grand Slam Gal
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Nathaniel Tracey says
excellent blog I’m a huge Tennis viewer from Amserdam
What a great article GSG. I really enjoyed reading about Rod Laver who was one of my tennis idols when I was playing small time in the 60’s. Frank Sedgman was another who really impressed but does not seem to get a mention as often as some of the other greats of that era.