For the past nine years, we have been privileged to be a player guest at the Australian Open. Together with a number of friends we share our homes with visiting tennis players and through their generosity we have an opportunity to experience the Australian Open in a unique way.
My player guest accreditation gives me access to travel in the Australian Open cars, to eat in the player cafe and to relax between matches in the Player Lounge. On Tuesday it was 38 degrees celsius, if it was tough for the spectators watching in that heat, it was even harder for the players. I don't know how they do it. I have the utmost respect for the players, this is a tough life.
Here are some of my favourite photos from the week...
1. The Australian Open has a new logo, and we are greeted on arrival with this huge sign made of tennis balls. It is impossible to take a photo without someone in it as you can see!
|Having a ball at the AO 2017|
2. The Australian Open is not called the 'Happy Slam' for nothing. Our blue tennis courts look good under blue skies with the Melbourne CBD backdrop setting. Our crowds are lively and together with easy transport access, it's easy to see why the fans, there were 73,000 of us on Day one, have a ball.
|My tip for a great AO photo - stand behind a professional!|
3. New this year is an area called Grand Slam Oval featuring Melbourne Gardens, Paris Quarter, NYC Streets and the English Club. It gives visitors a taste of the four Grand Slams on the worldwide stage. In 2016 I was fortunate enough to have also attended Roland Garros and Wimbledon, It was fun to stroll around before the crowds reliving old memories of these other grand tennis occasions.
|The Summer starts now at the Australian Open|
4. For me, one of the big differences is the unpredictability of Melbourne's weather. The first two days of the tournament were so incredibly hot. We know how to pack for such conditions; sunscreen, hats, plenty of water and a bottle of frozen water bottle, a wet sarong to drape around our necks like the players iced-sausages that they wear between points, a towel to sit on, and the clever amongst us brought umbrellas for some shade...
Of course, by Wednesday our temperatures had dropped by 22 degrees, so out come the towels and sarongs to keep warm!
However by Thursday despite all my best precautions, my nose was burnt and we took every opportunity to be in the shade - good job this is not the French Open. I'm not sure this approach to fashion courtside would be considered tres chic!
So here we are gripped watching Djokovic on the big garden screen on his way to an early exit. Dare I say it now, but I am very much hoping to be cheering on Sir Andy Murray when we go to the Men's finals next weekend.
|Wren and friend, doing the Aus Open in style|
Looking forward to showing you some more photos of on and off
court action tomorrow.
Linking with thanks to Amy at Five on Friday