January 24, 2010

Enjoyed Australian Open '10 - Day 6

Finally my hubby and I have witnessed the Day 6 of Grand Slam. It was a very new experience and I want to share the same with all my readers...:-)

As we had planned the previous day, we left home at around 8:45 am to be at the stadium by 10 since the matches were going to start by 11. We packed sandwiches and some chips with us so that we needn't stand in the queues there for food and miss the matches.

We caught the train to Richmond (nearest station to Melbourne Park) and reached there by 10. We thought of upgrading our ground pass to the Rod Laver/Hisense arena passes so that we could see Federer and S.Williams matches, but to our bad luck the day tickets were sold out. But the good part was we got ground passes for the day of the women singles final. So we can enjoy the match in the big screen there (better than seeing the same match on TV at home...what do you say?). I shall keep you updated if we make it. Then we proceeded to the courts inside. There were lot of stalls like those of Wii, ANZ, Head, Yonex, Wilson, Heineken. We played some games in small stalls, saw the Wilson stalls were rackets were being made. There were big screens placed in many areas that allowed the visitors view the matches in Rod Laver/Hisense without getting in.

Firstly, as advised by few of our colleagues, we peeped through the practice courts expecting to see some seeded players warming up for their matches later. To our luck we saw Nikolay Davydenko practising in court 4 and Leander Paes,  whom we were expecting to see later in the men's doubles match, in court 6. I wanted to get his autograph and ran behind him as he was getting back to his change room but missed him very narrowly. But I didn't lose heart as we were going to see his match later and I was sure to get him then.  Then, I was fortunate enough to see Andy Murray while practising. But to my bad luck I was not able to take his snap since the digi cam was with my hubby who was reserving seats in court 6. Before the men's doubles, there was a women's doubles match and we got to see Jelena Jankovic . It was not a very competitive match and to our surprise Jelena and her partner were losing against their opponents bit clearly. Anyway, we just cheered both the teams on their good serves as we were not seriously supporting either of the teams. During this time it was drizzling in between and thanks to our ponchos (which we bought in Universal Studios, LA) we kept ourselves dry.

By then, gradually lot of Indians started occupying the seats to watch Paes' match. We were happy that we would not be the only supporters! After the women's doubles match got over, I got from my seat and ran towards the entrance of the court, from were the players would enter the court, to get Paes' autograph. After waiting for a while he came to the court and when I asked him, he refused saying "After the match please". I was very disappointed but still wished him good luck. With a heavy heart, I came back and told the same to my hubby and he got a bit angry saying how could he refuse. Anyway the match started and we spread our Indian flag and felt quite patriotic doing that! The small Indian group in the audience kept cheering Leander and his partner Lukas. Leander has improved his serves and was playing well. His shots were just above the net and very close to the opponents' feet which made them difficult to hit back.

Actually I felt like Leander did show off a bit..;-) Who cares...we wanted him to win. Thats it. My hubby and I finished having our sandwiches while watching the match. During the match, the drizzling stopped and it became very bright and hot. Like all others, we kept applying sun block in between (ok...let me make one thing clear..the reason for applying sun block was more than just being beauty conscious, the ozone hole is somewhere just above Australia!). We all shouted in between like "Go Leander", "What a shot", "Well done guys" "Come on Leander" etc. Much to my surprise Paes had non-Indian fans too..;-) The lady (guess an Aussie) behind me used to shout on top of her voice and even stand from her seat and encourage the him and Lukas. The match ended like we wanted it.YES...LEANDER AND LUKAS WON THE MATCH!

I didn't want to leave this last chance, hence i jumped our the seats and ran to get Paes' autograph and YES I SUCCEEDED! I was very happy. My hubby also shook hands with him and congratulated him. So finally we didn't go embarrassed after all that shouting and waving out Indian flag. Mission accomplished...:-)))

Then we headed towards other courts and happened to see Tommy Haas , Svetlana Kuznetsova, Victoria Azarenka, Agnieszka Radwanska, Maria Kirilenko and many more players whom we couldn't identify by name. These courts were not big ones like where the final matches take place. They had fewer seats. So we headed to Margaret Court which is a bigger court accommodating around 10,000. We had to stand in the queue for a while to get seats there. The stadium was packed with people. After waiting for a while, we got seats and saw the Men's singles 3rd round match between Fernando Verdasco and Stefan Koubek. Just the first set got over and it seemed to be an one sided match and Fernando looked to be the obvious winner. Much to our disappointment, Stefan ended the match by being retired hurt.

Bit disappointed we waited in the same court for the next match. It was a mixed doubles of unseeded players match in which we were not much interested. We headed to Court 2 where we saw the men's doubles match between Fernando Gonzalez, Ivan Ljubicic and Carsten Ball, Stephen Huss (Aussies). Court 2 was also a big one comprising around 5000 people. As expected there were lot of Aussie supporters shouting almost every serve and waving hands. It was enjoyable to see a cheerful crowd.  The former lost the first set as the Aussie pair gave a good fight. It was almost 5:30 and we thought of leaving the court since we wanted to avoid the entire crowd to the station again.

We caught the train back to our home and continued watching the matches on TV. We were lucky that we didn't get the tickets for Hisense/RodLaver as the most awaited match between Hewitt and Baghdatis ended after the latter retired hurt.

We came to know that yesterday (23rd Jan, 2010) had the record crowd ever in the Australian Open and we both are proud being 2 of them!!!



You can find the photos taken during the Day 6 matches here.

3 comments:

  1. Great! any pics ? btw how is Aus treating you?

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  2. Hi Chintan...thanks..long time! Yeah Aus is treating us good..:-) How are you?

    For photos, this is the link:
    http://picasaweb.google.com.au/aishuswami/AustralianOpen10Day6#

    ReplyDelete