On Tuesday, we woke up and decided to go to the Australian Open. Peter did a bit of work, and then we set out for Melbourne Park around 9:30 am. What a luxury to be able to walk a mile down the road and attend the Open on a whim! When we arrived, there was already a pretty long line waiting for the gates to open at 10. We purchased ground passes, which allowed us entry to all the matches except those taking place in the two main arenas. This was the best option for us, as we were too late to get tickets to any of the big matches at any sort of sane price, and this way we were able to see multiple matches.
We stood in line for a few minutes before the gates opened...crowds are my #1 fear/worst nightmare in life, so I was happy when the gates finally opened.
We headed straight to Hisense Arena, where Sloane Stephens, an American, was playing Victoria Azarenka. Luckily, we were able to get seats in the shade, which provided some relief from the 86 degree day. I had heard that last year during the Open temperatures reached 110 degrees and people were fainting, so I guess I can't complain too much about 86 degrees.
Next, we headed to one of the outdoor courts to watch another American, John Isner, in his first round game.
He's super tall. Look at him towering over the average-sized people!
We got a front row seat and watched about half of the match, which Isner won.
A tad bit sweaty at the outdoor courts.
We then grabbed some (predictably overpriced) food and headed back to Hisense to watch the evening match between Venus Williams and someone I have now forgotten. I don't think she was particularly notable.
We sat in almost exactly the same place as we had during the morning match, but this time we were in the sun. I suggested a move to the other end of the arena, but Peter didn't want our view to be compromised by the official's chair, so we stayed. Hardcore tennis fans right here.
Venus in action! She's my idol, partly because she's friends with Kim Kardashian. Also, she gave a funny interview after (pretty easily) winning her match. I took a slow motion video of her serve, which is kind of grainy, but you get the idea.
Before heading home, we watched Gael Monfils warm up on the practice courts.
You know you've made it when people watch you practice something. New life goal.
It was an awesome day and a totally new experience for both of us. Next year, we hope to secure tickets to a bigger match and perhaps buy a multi-day ground pass. I've heard most of the tennis players are staying at the casino across the street from our apartment, so I've been keeping my eyes out, but no sightings so far! There's a tennis court on the roof of the casino where they allegedly practice, so I've considered getting a pair of binoculars and trying to catch a glimpse, but haven't quiet resorted to that level of creepiness. Yet.
Anyway, it's been really fun to experience the excitement of our first Australian Open!