From January 13 to the 26th, the Australian Open is being played in Melbourne. One of the four Grand Slam events in tennis, the city gets crowded with people coming to watch the tournament. So I figured, I probably should check this out. Tickets range from higher end whole tournament passes, to outdoor court only day passes. I went for the one day, outdoor pass for $30ish. This covered most of the courts, but I could only get first come first serve seating.
Taking in my first match at the Show Court
I was super excited to be going on Day 4, when Venus and Serena Williams would be playing. So I got there early, and staked out a seat. Sadly, fate would have it this was also the hottest day of Melbourne's summer thus far. Temperatures got up to 44C (111F) at one point. Just sitting in the sun I drank 20 bottles of water and was sweating constantly, feeling like my skin was about to burst into flames. I can't imagine how the players were doing.
Eventually, they postponed the games, calling the heat rule into play, and pushing games back until 6-7pm. The Williams sisters got moved to the next day, and so my Australian Open day was a little crushed. Still, I had fun watching what games I could, and wandering the grounds. There are plenty of activity in the Grand Slam Oval: free face painting, games, autograph stands, and more. So we kept ourselves busy playing games and looking around.
Getting my USA spirit on
Here are some helpful tips I have after going:
- If you're doing a general ticket like the outdoor courts, try going in the first week of the tournament. As there are still lots of people in the running, your chances of seeing famous players for cheaper is a lot better.
- Bring a water bottle, there are stations to refill for free everywhere, so save some money and bring your own.
- Bring some snacks or a packed lunch, again save some money vs the typical overpriced stadium food.
- Grab a schedule and map from one of the information tables, then plan out your games. Obviously, the schedule won't have exact times since some games go for longer than others, but this will help you get a general plan of how many players you can catch.
- Be polite during games, don't cheer or scream until after the point has been completed.
- Sunglasses, hats, sunscreen! You're going to be exposed all day, don't take any chances with the Australian sun!