If you are a tennisfan you really have to visit the Australian Open at least one time in your life. What makes Australia unique in january for us Europeans is obviously the weather but there are so much more to this Grand Slam then just the amazing weather.
The continued improvements
Australian Open is really the Grand Slam for the fans. Every year i see different upgrades to the event for the fans. It can be bigger outside courts with more seating for the spectators, it can be more shade for the crowds, a new bar, free entrance to a big arena and so on. Melbourne Park, the name of the venue, is really sizzling this time of the year.
What makes the Australian Open unique in comparison to the other Grand Slams is also the location. It is walking distance from downtown Melbourne. A walk that is not only short but so sweet along the Yarra river as well. Stop for a coffee along the way or eat in any of the amazing restaurants in the city. There are numerous hotels in the city.
Australians are really active people. They love to exercise. One of my favourite runs is for sure along the Yarra river. You cant miss that when in Melbourne. You can start basically anywhere and run on both sides all the way from the city down to Kooyong (where they use to play the Australian Open in the past) if you are doing a long run. Watch out for bikes as there are many people that commute via bike from the suburbs in to the city. You will have big bike paths running in both directions on both sides of the river but make sure to stay alert anyway in corners or when running under bridges with limited visibility. Remember the left side traffic in Australia, that goes also for the bike paths. A really nice bonus is to watch all the rowers training in the Yarra river.
Another really good one with more hills is to run in the Royal Botanic Garden. Its on the opposite side of the Melbourne Park right in the city. You will have a lot of good runners doing speed training here along Alexandra avenue. The hill going up Anderson St from Alexandra Av is steep and will get your heart rate up.
Nice area outside downtown
A really nice area in Melbourne is South Yarra. I use to live there when i was playing. In the city you will find more high-rises but here on the other hand there is smaller buildings with cosy shops, restaurants and cafes. Walk along Chapel street and Toorak road. You will get a european feel here. The area is still only a 10 min drive from Melbourne park.
*** Happy about the win by Daniel Brands today
*** Bad luck Elias Ymer in the qualies
*** Rebecca Peterson from Team Catella in first round Q tomorrow. Good luck to her and coach Mart
Have a nice day and make that trip to Melbourne if you get the chance:)