For a tennis fan, being a first-timer on the yr’s first Grand Slam tennis occasion, the Australian Open, clearly is an expertise to recollect.
The buzz contained in the Melbourne Park advanced is difficult to overlook, the place the energetic and courteous volunteers welcome the visiting spectators politely and purposefully. Once the hassle-free screening by way of the safety is completed, one is free to discover one of many largest tennis amenities on this planet.
In phrases of the prize-money on provide among the many Grand Slam occasions, the Australian Open ($52.8 million) stands second to the US Open ($55 million) and forward of Wimbledon ($49.3 million) and the French Open ($47.3 million).
When the motion commences on the 33 onerous courts, essentially the most sought-after motion comes from the three premier courts – the Rod Laver Arena, John Cain Arena and the Margaret Court Arena – with retractable roofs.
Of the lot, the Rod Laver Arena, with a capability of 14,820, is essentially the most wanted. Named after the tennis nice who received the Grand Slam (all 4 majors in a single calendar yr) in 1962 and 1969. In reality, the Laver Cup – the annual occasion between Team World and Team Europe – carries the title of the Aussie nice, now 84.
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Not many are conscious that Rod Laver stays in Melbourne all through the Australian Open annually. The high gamers on this planet don’t miss an opportunity to spend a while with this legend. “I make it a point to attend the entire Australian Open each year,” revealed Rod Laver when this author met him on the particular invitees dinner on the Rod Laver Arena throughout the Open. “Each year, it seems to get better and better,” stated the good man throughout that temporary chat.
The O Club
In reality, when not watching tennis, Rod Laver spends his time on the ‘O Club’, which is a part of the Arena named after him.
Menu on the ‘O Club’ contained in the Rod Laver Arena. A non-public lounge, the O Club is reserved for particular invitees, tennis VIPs and sponsors of the Open.
| Photo Credit: RAKESH RAO
There are 25 eating choices on the location for the paying spectators. They embrace sit-down eating places, quick-service meals stalls and bars. On provide is a variety of cuisines together with native Australian dishes, worldwide and a number of other wholesome consuming choices.
But the O Club stands out.
This Club gives premium eating expertise with gourmand meals and designated, unique seating areas. Obviously a non-public lounge, O Club is reserved for particular invitees, tennis VIPs and sponsors of the Open. Needless so as to add, the lounge serves very top quality meals and drinks. The menu on the O Club adjustments often, nevertheless it sometimes options a wide range of dishes, similar to gourmand sandwiches, salads, and sushi. In addition to the meals, there’s a well-stocked bar that serves cocktails, beer, and wine.
Dining on the O Club is an effective way to calm down and recharge throughout the Australian Open. The environment is elegant and complicated, and the service is phenomenal. Whether you’re a giant tennis fan or just on the lookout for a particular eating expertise, the O Club is the right selection.
With the legend: Australian tennis nice Rod Laver (left) with the creator.
| Photo Credit: RAKESH RAO
Those privileged to be on the O Club even have an opportunity to take a detailed have a look at the singles winners’ trophies. Placed strategically on one facet of the center of the eating corridor, the trophies get observed with out screaming for consideration. On one facet, this premier lounge offers an ideal view of the tennis courts of the Melbourne Park. The door on the opposite facet leads one to the VIP stands. These stands are reserved for the invitees who occupy the seats behind the server’s arm. One is allowed to occupy or depart the seats of this premier enclosure solely when the gamers take a breather after the odd-numbered video games.
Statistics in actual time
While the spectators within the enclosure, very similar to the one reverse, get the very best view of the motion, it’s attention-grabbing to find how Rod Laver will get to observe and benefit from the motion. Obviously seated in the course of the entrance row, Rod Laver is the one one within the enviornment to get pleasure from a display screen that displayed all of the statistics of the continuing match in actual time. The strategically-placed tables and ice-boxes guarantee these seated within the firm of Rod Laver additionally take pleasure in their snacks and drinks at the same time as they watch the on-court motion.
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Apart from the Rod Laver Arena, the opposite two premier stadiums that provide pristine viewing expertise are the John Cain Arena and the Margaret Court Arena. Given the warmth Melbourne experiences in January, the concept to have the retractable roofs was a really considerate one.
In addition, you could have the Kia Arena, often known as the Show Court Arena, and Show Courts 2 and three, all-round seating preparations. It is well-known that no different organiser of the Grand Slam works as onerous as making these behind the Australian Open. After the top of every version, inside just a few weeks, the work begins for the subsequent yr’s occasion. Reviews are performed of the just-concluded version and corrective steps, if wanted, are taken. The staff is apprised of the standing report and areas are recognized for enchancment. No marvel, the occasion has grown at a quicker fee than the opposite three occasions that type a part of the Grand Slam.
This yr, Novak Djokovic’s tenth singles title from the Australian Open added one other piece of historical past to the premier occasion. When seen within the backdrop of how the Serb was requested to depart the nation within the earlier version as a consequence of Covid-related non-clearances, Djokovic’s decided cost throughout the fortnight stood out.
Irrespective of the on-court heroics of a number of the biggest names of the sport, the Australian Open focuses on making it a memorable expertise for the paying spectator. Each yr, new components are added that depart a tennis lover keen to return again. No marvel, this yr’s Australian Open set a brand new file in spectator footfalls. Next yr, it may get even higher.
Clearly, the day isn’t far when Melbourne may take delight in internet hosting the most important Slams of all. After all, the indicators of progress are for everybody to see and pay attention to.