the australian open

In January last year, I wound my way through Melbourne crowds that crisscrossed from one stadium to another. We headed to court three where a series of doubles were played and later wandered across the complex to watch a singles game. Our passes allowed us into any stadium (as long as there were seats) but this wasn’t the day for the superstars — Federer and Nadal. Their games came later.

Amanda Anisimova (USA) and Nick Kyrgios (Aus) vs Monique Adamczak (Aus) and David Vega Hernzndez (Espania)

I had watched single tennis games multiple times but was surprised to find that doubles were definitely more exciting as a spectator, especially if one of the players was a bit of an entertainer — which Nick Kyrgios was. With his smasher serve and sense of humour he was clearly the Australian audience’s favourite.

Marlin Ciric Croa Vs Roberto Bautista Agut Spain

This year, in spite of covid#19 and Australia’s strict rules, like many sports, the Australian Open was not cancelled. On one of the flights that brought many players into the country, someone had the virus. I imagine the event was not the casual party atmosphere that I experience with packed stadiums and crowds milling around food stands. But like New Zealand, Australia’s cases are low. The last time I checked the seven-day average was six cases in the entire country — a benefit of being an island.

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