In this country, everyone loves the tennis. The minute the calendar turns to January, the TV screens turn to blue as all the pre-Aus Open tournaments start hitting Channel Seven. Tabloid press have a field day spotting players shopping on Chapel St or eating at Crown Casino, and the serious sports reporters who’ve been itching since Aussie Rules wrapped up in September finally have a focus.
Mums and dads are strolling up Swan St with the kiddies, esky in hand, and Richmond station doubles its presence of Connex “customer service” men in the little orange singlets. Hordes of teenage girls in homemade sequinned singlets with photos of sexy “Fernando!” or “Roger” teeter through Garden Square and queue up at the Garnier tent. Blue rinsed corporates sling their passes around their shoulders and sit in their cushioned chairs for the first three quarters of a match before heading home for 9pm bedtime, throwing out their passes in the process. And of course, the players descend. Muscled Latinos and hunky Russians, lithe Scandinavians and hot tempered Balkans all make Melbourne Park their home and win the hearts of the Melbourne crowd.
It’s the happy slam, and its two weeks we look forward to every year.
Who are we?
We’re three girls, sisters in fact, who appreciate sport in all its poptasticness. Don’t ask us to kick a footy or pick up a racquet, but we can recite our stats and remember our history – usually because we were there. We love our footy in winter and our tennis in summer, cricket and soccer whenever we can get it. And we love our history and our stats, our stories and our random moments at sporting events that makes it all real. We like to watch the WAGs and the coaches in the box, but we also notice the injuries (injies for short) and psychoanalyse our favourite players. We make friends at sporting events, and tweet and facebook our way through major events.
Last year, I was watching the Wimbledon final without my usual sisterly posse. Suddenly, I found my commentating falling on deaf ears. “Brooklyn should be wearing some sunscreen, she’ll age before her time.” “Mirka is getting Braxton Hicks getting nervous over this situation!” and so it went. That was when I realised there’s a poptastic side to sport, and everyone should get a chance to hear it.
This year, we’re taking you along for the ride.
M will be responsible for site imagery, including the sneaky shots of Tsonga training shirtless and Rafa’s wedgie picking at today’s exhibition. L is our fabulous Editor at Large, who knows how to sniff out a story and can stalk a player from mile off. And finally, there is myself, R, who will be tweeting, blogging and essentially keeping you all up to date on our antics in Melbourne Park.
We won’t be in the press room, or hanging out with the players in the locker room. We’re coming to you from Court Thirteen, near the back end of Melbourne Park. We’re on the pulse in Garden Square, and we’ll be sussing out Grand Slam Oval this year for the first time. We’re Court Thirteen, and we are beyond pumped for the two weeks ahead.
Bring on Australian Open 2010!