Author: Hannah Bates
If you’re visiting Melbourne in the summer months, one event you should aim to see is the Australian Open – one of the world’s most prestigious tennis events. As one of the four tennis Grand Slams that take place every year, the Open is one of the highlights of the international tennis calendar.
The 2017 Australian Open will take place between 16th and 29th January. The hot favorite to win is Novak Djokovic (he’s won the event six times) while Britain’s Andy Murray is the current second favorite. If you fancy having a bet, then Nick Kyrgios, Australia’s ‘bad boy of tennis’ and modern day answer to John McEnroe, is possibly the player to back.
Once you’ve got your tickets, or at least, have a plan of how you’ll get them, make sure you bear in mind the following tips so your Australian Open experience is an unforgettable one.
Where to Stay?
Accommodation is something to bear in mind when planning your trip to the Open, as hotels will often be booked well in advance. Staying at the Crown, Southbank or in the Melbourne CBD will give you quick and easy access to Flinders Street – where trams run to Melbourne Park. Anyone with a tennis ticket can travel on the tram for free. Although night matches can go on pretty late, the trams will continue to run until the last match is completed, so there’s no worry about getting stranded.
Download the Open App
If you don’t want to fight the crowds in Melbourne, there’s one advantage to staying home to watch the tennis: you can find out all the scores without moving from your seat. If you want the same possibility while at the Open, download the Australian Open app before you go, or follow proceedings on Twitter (@AustralianOpen). Take a charger to boost your phone at the charging points in either the Rod Laver or Hisense Arena, unless you’ve got a portable charger in your backpack.
— Australian Open (@AustralianOpen) November 16, 2016
Be Prepared for the Heat
The tournament takes place in the height of the Australian summer, so there’s a serious risk of heatstroke if you don’t take adequate precautions, with temps regularly over 30 C. There’s an extreme heat policy in place whereby play will halt if the heat reaches the maximum permissible temperature. But, for spectators, it’s best to stay well-hydrated at all times while you’re at the Open. There are water stations around the grounds to refill water bottles. Of course, the usual rules apply for being outside in the hot sun; wear a hat and reapply sunscreen regularly- slip, slop, slap.
As well as the amazing tennis matches you’ll see, there’s also a party atmosphere at the Australian Open that makes it a great event to attend. There are lots of different foods and drinks on offer, and officials seem to turn a blind eye to those who’ve brought their own food too. With a feature band playing every day between 6pm and 7pm at the Grand Slam Oval, make the most of a ground pass, as you can stay on to watch the band when the matches are finished.
Bio: An avid sports fan, Hannah has travelled all over the world writing about and following various sporting events. She has written for many prestigious publications, and continues to pursue her love of writing while absorbing the sights and sounds of some of the most interesting destinations around the world.
Have you been to Melbourne for the Open- if so, any tips?