Experiencing the Australian Open

Australia trip - Melbourne - Australian Open - Tennis - Hisense Arena

Hisense Arena in Melbourne Park, Australia

Well this event was the reason why we visited Australia in the first place in January 2013. It’s the Australian Open! :)

Australian Open is the first grand slam series of each year, which happens in January.

It’s interesting that they do the Australian Open in January, as it’s still summer time where the weather can hit 40 degrees Celsius! Nevertheless, it’s Melbourne, where you can experience ‘4 seasons in one day’ even though it’s summer. That happened to us (Yudhi and I) on 18 January 2013, well okay … It’s not literally 4 seasons, but more to 4 weathers, but still … haha!

Australia trip - Melbourne - Australian Open - Tennis - The crowds queue

The crowd queue of Australian Open in Melbourne

 

We started quite early in the morning as we needed to upgrade our ticket to Rod Laver. After a discussion a day earlier, we decided that we must watch in Rod Laver, no matter who played in that court. We wanted to have a full experience of Australian Open. And even though we bought the Rod Laver ticket, we were still able to watch games held in Margaret Court (it’s free).

We also chose the day session, where the game started at 11AM, instead of evening session. There were 3 matches during the day session, while the evening session, which started at 7PM only had 2 matches.

Australia trip - Melbourne - Australian Open - Tennis - Official partner - Rolex

Rolex, the official partner in Australian Open

We thought the queue would be quite long, well it was quite long, but it didn’t take us too long to enter the Melbourne Park.

Yudhi has entered Melbourne Park before, but not during the Australian Open event. He went there just to have the tour, so this was his second time visiting the Melbourne Park, but for me, this was the first time.

So when entering the venue, I was just thinking ‘Whoaaaa …, so this is Melbourne Park. All this time, I just watched it on television, and now I’m here!’

Melbourne Park has 3 main venues, the first one would be the Rod Laver, the second one is the Hisense Arena, and the last one is Margaret Court. Other than those 3 courts, they also have other small venues, usually are being used for qualifying rounds. Some of them have the audience seats, and some don’t. These small courts were also used for players to practice, and as these small courts located outdoor, meaning that we could watch the players very close haha. Well, not very close though, they have fences around the court … Haha.

Australia trip - Melbourne - Australian Open - Tennis - Melbourne Park

The seats for the Australian Open crowd in Melbourne

Australia trip - Melbourne - Australian Open - Tennis - Rod Laver

Rod Laver arena from outside, in Melbourne Park, Australia

Australia trip - Melbourne - Australian Open - Tennis - Rod Laver Ticket

Australian Open Ticket – Rod Laver

The ticket for Rod Laver already has seat number in it, so we didn’t need to rush in to secure a seat, but if you want to watch in Rod Laver (and I guess in Hisense too), you need to be there at least 15 minutes before the match, as they will close the entrances to the court during the game. They would also not allow people to exit the venue during the game, but it is okay to exit in-between the games.

They also have rule for camera, especially for the DSLR lens. If I’m not mistaken they forbid the lens above 200mm. My lens was definitely okay, and I’m a bit disappointed that I don’t bring the lens with higher focal length. I guess you will see the result of my photos haha.

We seat on the center section facing the vertical-side of the court, so with that, we could see both players (left and right). I think this view is better rather than facing the horizontal-side of the court (facing the back of one of the player). Oh by the way, I could see the Eureka Tower from where I sit ;)

Australia trip - Melbourne - Australian Open - Tennis - Inside Rod Laver (1)

The Rod Laver! (with Eureka Tower view in the background) – Melbourne – Australia

First game was Angelique Kerber (Germany) Vs Madison Keys (USA)

I am not a fan of both players, but we kinda supported Kerber in this haha, and yes she won 6-2 7-5 over Keys. Kerber then lost in 4th round to  Ekaterina Makarova in the 4th round.

Australia trip - Melbourne - Australian Open - Tennis - Rod Laver - Angelique Kerber Vs Madison Keys

Yes those are actually Angelique Kerber (left) and Madison Keys! – Australian Open Round 3

… But let’s talk about the weather … Haha.

I did tell you that it was okay during the morning, it’s a cool weather, but then the sky was getting darker and suddenly the rain fell. It was a light rain at first, and they still continue playing, but then the referee stopped the game because the court could be slippery. So what they did, they decided to close the roof! Cool isn’t it! How they close the enormous roof, which took quite a while haha. While they close the roof, the ball boys cleaning the court.

Australia trip - Melbourne - Australian Open - Tennis - Rod Laver - Cleaning the court

Cleaning the court – Rod Laver – Australian Open Round 3

The rain was not that long, and they decided to open the roof again, and here came another weather … HOT!

Yes, it suddenly became hot, and our seat section was in the opening area of the roof, thus the sun was coming inside the stadium directly to us! Haha …

I actually planning to wear a quick-dry sleeveless shirt plus a long-sleeve shirt just in case the weather going wild, but I changed my mind, and I just wore a quick-dry T-shirt. Wrong decision! Lol!

The second game was Na Li vs Sorana Cirstea

Australia trip - Melbourne - Australian Open - Tennis - Rod Laver - Na Li Vs Sorana Cirstea (Cover Page)

Na Li Vs Sorana Cirstea in Rod Laver – Australian Open Round 3

Although I’m not from China, but I’m Asian, so I rooted to support Na Li haha. And I’m proud of her, as she is the highest Asian player in the WTA rank (currently is at number #5).

She defeated Cirstea 6-4 6-1. She went to the final of the Australian Open, but then lost to Victoria Azarenka. Great job Na Li! :)

The last game of the day session was Novak Djokovic vs Radek Stepanek

Australia trip - Melbourne - Australian Open - Tennis - Rod Laver - Novak Djokovic hitting the ball

‘Watchout for my ball!” – Novak Djokovic is practicing before the match – Rod Laver, Australian Open Round 3

Well watching the #1 tennis player was interesting, and more over, Djokovic nickname is The Joker. That’s another interesting point to watch the game.

Although the game finished in three set where Djokovic won over Stepanek 6-4 6-3 7-5, but it’s Stepanek who stole the game! What I meant here was how he entertained the crowd, while Djokovic was a bit too serious (I guess). Unfortunately I didn’t get any picturec of Stepanek funny act on the court. Anyway, it was a good match, and we and the other audience gave a standing ovation after the game!

Australia trip - Melbourne - Australian Open - Tennis - Rod Laver - Novak Djokovic Vs Radek Stepanek

Novak Djokovic Vs Radek Stepanek in Australian Open Round 3 (Rod Laver)

As I mentioned earlier that there’re some small courts that were used by the players to practice, including this day. There’s the schedule to for which players playing at this hour and in which courts, and lucky us, we could watch Maria Sharapova and Venus Williams practicing during the day (they played each other on the evening match). Sharapova is indeed beautiful! It’s quite hard to come closer to the court, as there’re already many fans and some lucky fans that got her signature!!!

Australia trip - Melbourne - Australian Open - Tennis - Practice Session - Venus Williams (1)

Venus Williams is practicing – Australian Open 2013

Australia trip - Melbourne - Australian Open - Tennis - Practice Session - Maria Sharapova - Autograph session

Lovely Sharapove is giving signature in Australian Open 2013

Australia trip - Melbourne - Australian Open - Tennis - Practice Session - Bernard Tomic

Bernard Tomic – the rising star from Australia, is practicing in Australian Open 2013

Actually, according to the schedule, Roger Federer was going to practice in one of the courts, but not sure why he cancelled it :(

I still didn’t want to move to other places yet, because I want to see some other famous tennis player, and took the photos. So we looked at the schedule again, and there’s Bernard Tomic. At first, I didn’t really recognize who he is, but as I watched the Australian Open, I could see that Tomic is a rising star from Australia. He’s still young, and people love him. That’s why he got the small court with the audience seat haha … Plenty of people watching him practicing!

Once we got the Rod Laver ticket for the day, it meant that we could stay in Melbourne Park for the whole day, so we didn’t want to waste any single things from this ticket! Haha …

Yudhi suggested that we moved to Margaret Court and see another match. It’s a free one, so no need tickets.

Luckily the next game hasn’t started yet.

The game was Stanislas Wawrinka Vs Sam Querrey

Australia trip - Melbourne - Australian Open - Tennis - Margaret Court - Stanislas Wawrinka Vs Sam Querrey

Stanislas Wawrinka Vs Sam Querrey in Australian Open Round 3

I know both players but even though both are not my favourite players, but I gravitated more to Stani rather than Sam.

The seats in Margaret Court were not as many as in Rod Laver, so we’re lucky to get (at first) seats quite near to the front, but later we could move to the very front seats as some people were leaving. Great!

What I love when watching in Margaret Court compares to Rod Laver was the crowd. People was cheering their favourite player, waiving the flag, banging something to lift the spirit of the player (lol!), and even singing some funny songs! Love when some crowds from the US sang some songs to support Sam!

It was a fun ambiance during the game, even the weather was very cool, and Stani won against Sam 7-6(6) 7-5 6-4.

Australia trip - Melbourne - Australian Open - Tennis - Margaret Court

Stanislas Wawrinka in Margaret Court – Australian Open Round 3

Australia trip - Melbourne - Australian Open - Tennis - Margaret Court - Stanislas Wawrinka & Sam Querrey

Stanislas won over Sam in the Australian Open Round 3

The game ended after 7PM, that meant the Rod Laver evening match has begun. Well … Actually from around half hour before Stani Vs Sam game ended, I already could hear Sharapova’s scream coming from Rod Laver to where I sit in Margaret Court (Rod Laver is located next to Margaret Court). So I can’t imagine, how loud was her scream inside the Rod Laver! Lol! :D

Anyway … There were some big screens in Melbourne Park complex, so we watched the match of Maria Sharapova Vs Venus Williams on the big screen outside Margaret Court with a very very cold wind! Even a beer couldn’t heat me up! Lol. Luckily, it was a very short match. Williams lost to Sharapova 6-1 6-3 (I thought it was going to be a tough match!!).

Australia trip - Melbourne - Australian Open - Tennis - Rod Laver - Maria Sharapova won over Venus Williams

Happy Maria Sharapova just won the game in Australian Open Round 3

It was indeed a very wonderful day! I never thought that I would watch tennis live in Australian Open, or even in Rod Laver arena! It was one experience that I would not forget! Thanks to Yudhi who pushed the idea to buy the Rod Laver ticket no matter who would play in that session ;)

Australia trip - Melbourne - Australian Open - Tennis - Timothy W Pawiro

Me in the Melbourne Park :D

To read my previous posts about my Australia trip:

Melbourne trip series:

- First date with Mel: The evening

– First date with Mel: The Tram

– First date with Mel: The Flinders Street

My previous post about my Sydney >> Sydney trip

Accommodation: Sydney Harbour YHA

Author: timothywp

The things that I love are movies, music, and travel. > I have an extended family in the movies world, called MoviegoersID, and we love to hang out and watch the movie together. > Do you know The Corrs? Yep, they are in hiatus now, but they are a very talented family/musician that I deeply love since high school! If you love them, then we might get a long well ;-) . Then my love to music grow to Sugarland, Christina Aguilera, The Script, and of course the one and only Anggun. > Travel is the love that grown in me very late ... Around 2011 I fell in love with travelling, and I tried my best to travel each month! :-)

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10 Comments

  1. I didn’t know you’re a fan of tennis sport!

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    • Iya ga ada euy hehe, tp kayaknya yg di bagian Junior ada deh.
      Lumayan mahal tiketnya nieh, tapi sekali2 gpp deh :D

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  2. someday, i will step my foot in there also, australia :D *envy*

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