Friday, 25 January 2013

The Australian Open vs. Wimbledon

For the past 2 weeks Melbourne has been host to the Australian Open and we have gone tennis crazy. I've never watched so much tennis in my life (although this is possibly due to the fact that up until yesterday I didn't have to work). Last night we watched Andy Murray beat Roger Federer in a 4 hour, 5 set match at a pub with mr and mrssweatybetty, so now he will go on to face Djokovic in the final on Sunday. Murray recently defeated Djokovic to win his first grand slam title at the US Open, and won gold at the London Olympics last summer, so Scotland's favourite son seems to have broke out of his habit of choking during really big matches.

However, this is not really meant to be a sports related post (it is me writing after all, not mrwandymcnoble). Last weekend we had a grounds pass to the Australian Open with mr and mrssweatybetty, and as all of us had been to Wimbledon and thoroughly enjoyed it, we were really looking forward to a day of watching tennis. However, we fast came to this conclusion: The Australian Open is no Wimbledon.

Here are our reasons for this:

1. If you only have a grounds pass at Wimbledon you can happily watch all the big matches on Henman Hill (more recently Murray Mound) on a huge screen with a picnic. At the Australian Open (AO) there is a lawn with chairs and tables and a teeny tiny screen that you can only really see properly if you are near the front.

In our tennis whites!

2. No strawberries and cream and at the AO.

3. You cannot bring any alcohol into the AO. At Wimbledon you are allowed one bottle per person. This is especially annoying when the cost of a small glass of wine or a pint at the AO is around $8-10.

4. There seemed to be no atmosphere at the AO. Australians have this perception that Wimbledon is really snobby and stuck-up, but that could not be further from the truth. Everyone is really friendly and there to have a good time.

5. A grounds pass is free at Wimbledon, but $35 at the AO. (However you have to queue at like 5am on premium days for a grounds pass to Wimbledon, so actually I'd probably rather pay the $35 and go at a regular time. Although mrssweatybetty assures me that the 5am queue is all part of the Wimbledon atmosphere. Not sure I believe her)
ETA: a grounds pass at Wimbledon is NOT free. Sorry, I was misinformed on this point. It's £8-20. So I guess the AO wins on this point!

6. Unbelievable queues for drinks and food at the AO. Although this probably saved us money in the end as we couldn't be bothered to wait for more drinks. To give credit to the AO, there are plenty of water fountains where you can fill your water bottle with (lukewarm) water for free.

The boys spent A LOT of time watching Sharapova practice


7. And finally, it is just TOO HOT for tennis here in the summer! It's crazy. There is almost no shade anywhere on the grounds so you just have to hope your sunscreen is doing its job, and drink your drinks fast so they are still cold. And we are not even the ones playing tennis! I feel very sorry for the players that have got stuck playing on the 40 degree plus days here.

All in all, we had a good day, but agreed we'd have rather saved our $35 and gone somewhere else to watch the tennis on a screen, and that in the case of putting on tennis tournaments, England > Australia.

2 comments:

  1. Has ony one noticed the number of injuries in this tourney? Both finalists were hampered and didn't play their best games by far at the end. I wonder if they might consider shortening the play at least one round to see if the players would be healthier at the end?

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  2. Ya Murray was looking pretty bad by the end of his match. Didn't realize Djokovic was also injured!

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