I attended 14 days of the Open and this is what I learned…
February 5, 2011
- Day 1 and Day 2 on ground passes are always highlights – my Day 2 involved watching 6 live matches, 5 of which were on outer courts and featured some of the best tennis of my tournament.
- Robin Haase is fantastic – the Dutchman oozes personality from every sweaty pore; he gets passionate, angry, he talks constantly, and he has oodles of talent. He took out Juan Monaco and a set off Andy Roddick. I saw all of his matches and it won’t be the last I see of the curly-haired dude.
- Seat cushions look dorky but come in handy.
- Francesca Schiavone is delightful to watch – I was forced to watch her when she played my favourites and I was much impressed. I may not be a fan, but with her versatile game, she’s great for women’s tennis.
- The WTA shouldn’t get so much flak for breaks of serve – I watched many matches between lower-ranked men and unless they were big servers, there were plenty of breaks. Even at higher level, (Djokovic vs Murray), breaks of serve were still far more common than we assume. Women break a lot not because they are weaker players, but because they have less powerful serves.
- Every single famous player seems to eat at Nobu – perhaps it is because they’re so well guarded.
- The crowd can’t get over the fact that Maria Sharapova yells – yes, she’s loud. I thought we all knew that. So mocking her during play really isn’t that funny. At all.
- Connoisseur ice-cream is a winner.
- I’m not really into practise sessions – apart from to see the outfits. I don’t care how famous they are, give me a live match anyday.
- Florian Mayer is comparable to Fabrice Santoro in game-style and is fun to watch
- Kei Nishikori has many more fans than you’d expect. He’s a rockstar in Japan
- Night quarter-final sessions are a rip-off – it’s the same price to go to the day session, which involves three games, than it is to go to the night session to see one game.
- Many people have very large cameras.
- Womens doubles isn’t so bad, in fact, the final was pretty damn enjoyable.
- Water is a must, bring your own food, and the toliet lines die down after the first week
- That no matter how tired you are when you arrive home at midnight, no matter how much it hurts when your alarm goes at 10am, and no matter how much you are over buns and ham and no dinner, you can ALWAYS find the energy to do it all over again when you hit Melbourne Park. Nothing beats live tennis. I can’t wait for nexst year.