Australian Open: The Happy Slam
On this day, I visited the most important venue in Melbourne – the Melbourne Park, home to the Australian Open of tennis.
As a tennis fan, I was excited to visit the site of this prestigious tournament. Melbourne Park consists of a large area that includes venues such as the Rod Laver Arena, the Hisense Arena and the Margaret Court Arena.
This is the open area at the park.
I signed up for the tour to check out the venue inside.
The tour guide told me that these lockers were frequently used by Mr. Roger Federer.
The hallway of champions
Of course I just got interviewed about my match.
Below are the women’s single Daphne Akhurst Memorial Cup (left) and men’s single Norman Brookes Challenge Cup (right).
Here is an interesting story about the Daphne Akhurst Memorial Cup. If you look at the Daphne Akhurst Memorial Cup, you will see that the trophy has a top lid. When Steffi Graf won the Australian Open in 1988, the top lid of the trophy was missing because it was accidentally left behind in Brisbane. With such a short notice, the tournament director had to present Steffi Graf the trophy without a lid. Thankfully, Steffi Graf won the tournament again in 1989 and she lifted the same trophy - this time with the lid.
At the end of our tour, one of the visitors from Scotland brought his racket and was hoping to hit a round of tennis at Melbourne Park. I really wanted to play as well but I did not bring my racket from Toronto. Surprisingly, the tour guide informed us that renting a racket would be free since I signed up for the venue tour. All I had to do was to pay court fee of $50. Seeing this as a golden opportunity, my newly met Scottish friend James agreed to split the court fee and we hit a round of tennis for an hour. My dream came true!
I do not want to bombard you with too many pictures of the session (taken by James’ brother Johnny). Please pardon my dress attire. I had no expectation to be able to play in the Australian Open venue. Now, I shamelessly present you a few of the selected pictures.