Trip Report: Australia (part 12) Australian Open Day One

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Introduction
British Airways First Class Lounge O’Hare
Cathay Pacific First Class ORD-HKG
Hyatt Regency Hong Kong Tsim Sha Tsui
Cathay Pacific’s The Wing First Class Lounge HKG
Cathay Pacific Regional Business Class HKG-KUL
Grand Hyatt Kuala Lumpur
Around Kuala Lumpur
Malaysia Airlines Golden Lounge KUL
Malaysia Airlines Business Class KUL-MEL
Radisson on Flagstaff Gardens Melbourne
Australia Open Day One (2nd round of tourney)
Around Melbourne
Great Ocean Road Excursion
Australian Open Day Two (4th round of tourney)
Park Hyatt Sydney
Sydney Opera House Tour
Bondi Beach
Qantas Domestic Business Lounge SYD
Qantas Domestic Business Class SYD-BNE
Qantas Business Class BNE-LAX
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Australian Open Day One (day 3 of tourney-2nd round)

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The tram entrance to the  2015 Australian Open

I bought our 2015 Australian Open tickets from Ticketek.com.au on October 7th about 12-16 hours after they went on sale to the general public. Ticketek is the official ticket provider of the Australian Open.  I went online and found that every lower level seat was taken/sold for Rod Laver Arena’s day session.  I was able to find some just a few rows up on the 2nd level of the arena and grabbed them!  Two tickets section S42, row DD were $173.32UAD or $86.66AUD per person.  These were also classified as “sun viewing” tickets meaning that you could be exposed to the sun for long periods of time.  They also had some classified as “shade viewing” in which you are fully protected.  We got lucky and the sun only got to our seats at the very end and clouds helped give us some relief as well.   I was lazy this time and did not go online the second seats were being sold but I would advise to go online the second tickets are available to find the best seats possible. I did that for the French Open but was too lazy and forgot to do that this time.

A negative to buying tennis tickets in advance is you pretty much have no idea who your going to see until right before the tournament and the draws are announced. Even then you don’t know because you have to wait till a day or two before to figure out order of play and who will play on what court.  My theory is just to buy show court/main stadium tickets due to them almost always having the best players playing and show courts have roofs in case of inclement weather (well Australian Open has 3 courts with roofs so they are ahead of the curve. US Open and French Open do not have roofs on their show courts at this time).

We ended up taking the tram which is free to Melbourne Park (where the tennis is played) and it drops us off right at the main tram entrance. I would say at least 50% or more of visitors take the tram to the event.  Its always surreal walking into a sporting event that you watch yearly and wish to someday be there.  It happens not at every sporting venue but the special ones in my mind….. first time in Fenway and Wrigley, first time in Lambeau Field, first time in Phillipe Chatrier Arena.  The grounds were buzzing with people and I was excited just to look around and take it all in.   The Australian Open is known as “The Happy Slam” as it has a bit more energy and people seem a bit more excited about the tennis than many other venues.  Aussie’s in general are happy people and Melbourne is THE sports town in all of Australia so the annual Australian Open is a fun event for all.

Screen Shot 2015-02-22 at 9.37.51 AM2015 Australian Open grounds map

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Fan zone in the background, past winner statues in the foreground

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On the grounds, Rolex and Kia are big sponsors of the Tournament

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The men’s and womens’s singles main draw with prior year (2014) winners in the photos (Stan Wawrinka and Li Na)

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Concert area for live music

 

ROD LAVER ARENA

I was pretty excited to enter Rod Laver Arena the main show court with the most seating capacity.  So many great matches have been played here throughout the years.  You cannot simply walk to your seats for a tennis match you must wait until a change over or break in play.  At that time the ushers will allow people up to their seats and allow people to leave the arena.  Tennis is a very proper sport in which you cannot get up from your seat and move around during play nor can you be distracting to the players in any way or risk being removed from the premises.   We waited for the next break in play with many others and were eventually allowed in and found our way to our seats.   I was pleasantly surprised with how good our seats were.  In fact in my mind any ticket in the arena would provide a good view to the match even the last row I would have no problem buying.   

Serena Williams vs Zvonereva match

We arrived to the first match late as our flight arrived slightly late and it just took longer than expected to get there. By the time we entered Rod Laver Arena the 2nd match was nearing its completion. Serena Williams, the eventual 2015 Champion was beating up on Vera Zvonereva in straight sets.

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Zvonereva to serve

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Serena Williams hitting her backhand

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Post match handshake

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Final score 7-5, 6-0 Serena Williams the winner

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Post match interview which the Rod Laver attendees can hear along with the TV viewers. 


Novak Djokovic vs Andrey Kuznetsov match

The final scheduled day match on Rod Laver Arena was eventual winner of the 2015 event, world number one and now five time Aussie Open Champ Novak Djokovic vs Andrey Kuznetsov.  This match was another lopsided affair with Djokovic winning in straight sets.  I am not a Djokovic fan but he is truly amazing to watch!

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Djokovic serving

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Novak’s forehand

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Djokovic overhead smash

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5 time champion 

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Best backhand men’s tennis

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Rally

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Djokovic waiving to the fans after the match

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Final score 6-0, 6-1, 6-4 straight set win for Novak Djokovic

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Post match interview

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Bad panorama of Rod Laver Arena

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Wife and I inside Rod Laver Arena

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Me inside Rod Laver Arena

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My wife inside Rod Laver Arena

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Sideline view of the court

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Wife and I inside Rod Laver Arena

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Baseline view of the court

Since the matches were over so quick the event organizers decided to move a doubles match over to Rod Laver Arena but I could care less about doubles so we decided to look around the grounds and maybe find one more match to watch.


HISENSE ARENA

If you have tickets to Rod Laver Arena it allows access to all other courts aside from Margaret Court Arena.  Another nice aspect of this tournament is a simple grounds pass allows you access to Hisense Arena which is a huge show court with a retractable roof and the tournament puts some great matches in this arena!  There is no assigned seating either so its first come first serve.  If you leave your seats mid-match to use the restroom or grab food someone else can grab your seat.

Petra Kvitova vs Mona Barthel

We watched two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova play against and beat Mona Barthel.

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Hisense Arena

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Inside Hisense Arena (notice how close you can sit to the court if your willing to sit in the sun-its wide open) 

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Two time Wimbledon Champion Petra Kvitova’s forehand

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Gael Monfils vs Jerzy Janowicz

The next match was an exciting men’s matchup! Fan favorite and Frenchman Gael Monfils was set to play Poland’s Jerzy Janowicz!  The seats filled up pretty good for this match.  This match started later in the afternoon around 4:30-5pm and went five sets thus your day sessions tickets can really get you a full day and night of tennis if your lucky.  However my wife was getting hungry and tired and we had watched 4+ hours of tennis so I told her we will just watch the first set and leave for the day.  Janowicz ended up winning in five sets I later found out on TV that night.

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Gael Monfils entering the court with his white headphones on

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Monfils getting ready for the match

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Chair umpire going over the rules and flipping the coin to start the match

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Stands packed along the baseline

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Players warming up

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Janowicz fans in the white shirts standing up

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Monfils backhand

We had a good time getting to experience a full day of tennis and seeing some great players and athletes.  The grand slams are very memorable sporting events and are great entertainment, a must do for any tennis fan! We came back three days later for fourth round action which I will detail later in the trip report.

-pointspinnacle


 

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