Yes, that's the Aussie Open adventure for another year and so this means the match reports are going to be over and this is the whole reflective and sentimental stuff, well maybe not.
Like anything there were highlights and lowlights, but overall I enjoyed the experience, but as we age, things tend to be seen differently. It's definitely more about the money making now than the moniker "The Friendly Slam", so I will get the shit out of my system now with the lowlights.
Lowlights: The main one has been the increase of crowd trouble in the last few years. Sadly it seems to be the Serb fans who are involved in the shit, a few years ago they had issue with the Croats. This year they were at it again going around trying to stir shit with Croats and Bosnians. These clowns haven't been in Serbia, especially during the war, they are searching for an identity. The Aus Open never had a problem before with people from all over the world having fun and cheering their favourites, but this lot aren't interested in tennis and the Serbian players have expressed their disappointment with these idiots.
The other main problem is the venue congestion at the moment. There are way too many people for the size of the venue at the moment, which was state of the art in 1988, but now looks very tired. They have some big plans for redevelopment and it's meant to be ready by 2016, but lets see what happens. In addition to this, the ticketing policy by charging extra for Hisense/Vodafone arena tickets, they really have dropped the ball there. The policy they used to have was the bottom tier was reserved seating, which is fine, but the top tier at sides of the court, was general admission for Ground Pass holders, now they don't do that and there is a distinct lack of atmosphere and the courts aren't close to full, plus it creates congestion elsewhere.
Enough of the shit and onto the good stuff. Yes, it was a good experience for me, going to the qualies is great, because you see true tennis fans, it's free and also the slow build up to the main event starting on Monday. There were quite a few players that I like, that weren't there, but there are always enough matches to watch to keep entertained.
It was great to catch up with up friends, watch some tennis, check out the women and writing these reports have been fun and I have to thank all these people who helped me during my time in Melbourne.
Peta and Kristen : No wonder Tom Tebbut likes the long lost sisters, always a pleasure to meet and hang with you for any length of time.
Sammy : Long term friend and one day Karlovic might win a 5 setter.
Imran : The Americans didn't want to show up this year, just hope Mikey Russell makes it back in 2010.
Glen : Hope you enjoy Acapulco, never know you might get a winner that you like this time around and being there seeing the King win his first match on hardcourt not to be forgotten.
Felix Mantilla : It was great to see him again and hope he succeeds in his job with the AIS teaching the Aussies how to play on clay.
Jimbo : For all the comedic moments, especially when Nalle and Kohli decide to gift Roddick a dream run to the quarters.
Big Brad: Thank you very much for letting me stay at your place and will make an appearance next year or during the year even.
Safaro and Jimmy Smith: Didn't get to see enough of you Safaro, hope your player makes the MD next season and Smith get your act together and work the 2010 event.
Then the others like tournament director Craig Tiley, when I asked him where I can send my feedback about the event, he gave me his card and it will give me something to write about next week, though I have enough subject matter for now.
Hope the readers have enjoyed what I have written, it's not for everyone and that's a good thing. It's always better being at the event yourself and yes that even includes ducking chairs and overpriced beer, but one can't have everything.