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.
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.
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.