ATP world tour/lets follow Federer around educational round the world trip brought us to the Australian Open in Melbourne, an event that I’ve always heard good things about. The Happy Slam. My cousin Lilia was on the WTA tour for 10 years and I’ve regretted not being her sherpa/hitting partner/travel agent (with my other cousin Ruben) for one of those years.
It couldn’t have been easier to get to the venue which is right next to downtown Melbourne and is serviced by a free street car which was 3 stops away from our airbnb loft. I wasn’t sure how the girls would like sitting around watching tennis for hours on end, so I made sure I got grounds passes for one day and tickets to a night session the next day to avoid the heat. Thankfully the weather was great, mid 70s and a slight breeze. But my secret weapon was buying the girls a giant tennis ball in order to get autographs.
We basically hung out around the practice courts, sometimes waiting for an hour for the players to show up and another hour to watch them practice and hope for an autograph. It was great to watch the players hit in a relaxed atmosphere. The girls got really into it, which I was excited/relieved to see. The girls liked it so much, we got grounds pass the next day to watch some more practice sessions. They even ran to the practice courts in the morning and were front row to see Serena Williams warm up. Claire also loved watching a lot of the girls juniors matches. As you can see from the pictures, we were pretty close to all the players. It was cool to see how hard and accurate they hit from a court level perspective. We did get a chance to watch the night match of Djokovic vs. Nishikori. Novak was just ruthless during that match and all the matches he played after that.
By Claire – I went to my first Australian Open. We waited for hours to see people and it was really worth it. We watched Ferrer and got his autograph. We got to see Nishikori, Djokovic and Suarez-Navarro. I was really excited when we got Madison Keys autograph and took a selfie with her. Serena Williams was amazing. The juniors girls were fun to watch, they were my favorite, especially Mina Kruijer who is Dutch and Bianca Andreescu who is Canadian.