Federation square for the tennis finalSun 29 Jan 2012
Amongst the rolling adventure of Victoria, I arrived back to Melbourne to waiting friends and the prospect of viewing the final of the Australian Open Tennis. Rather than facing the expense of centre court seating with the pomp and rules, the friends had arranged to me at Melbourne's Federation Square.
Pitched as Melbourne's answer to the Sydney Opera House, the combination of awkwarded styled buildings has eased into people's minds as a reasonable place to hang out for many reasons. Its location opposite Melbourne's Flinders St Station makes it an easy walk across the street for transport.
The afternoon of the tennis final stage was set with growing crowds seated directly on the stone paving in front of an enormous screen. Finding my friends in this crowd of 5000 odd was not easy, nor squeezing out enough butt space for my bum.
The match was already under way, and set a course for a 5 set nail bighter.
In the breaks, entertainment was provided with the ANZ supply of what must have been 500 beach balls. Most of these would be bounced around the crowd in the breaks, much to the entertainment. This would also be opportune time to stand up so the blood could return to one's rump.
Interestingly the game stretched on till after 1am. I don't think that anyone for saw that the game would go on this long, with the final tally being 5 - 7, 6 - 4, 6 - 2, 6 - 7(5 - 7), 7 - 5. Defending champ Novak Djokovic from Serbia, was in great form but had to slog it out with Rafael Nadal from Spain was similarly intent on winning.
It was the hard core fans that slogged it out at Fed Square as well, as the hardest of rumps dealt with the stone seating. I found a pizza box to break up and sit on, additionally cushioned with some deflated ANZ beach balls too I think. The intermittent rain seemed time perfectly with the set break, at which time the crowd would thin a little and then a little more. Perhaps just 1/3 of the people were left at the end of the match, with a fair percentage of Serbian's ... ALL of which went nuts with the ascent of their hero Novak.
The revelling went on for a good 1/2 hour chanting and hugging together on any elevated platform that they could find, and providing a dimly lit photo opp for the enthusiast.
The Australian Open is one of the peak sporting events in Melbourne and another great reason to visit Melbourne during summer. Culturally rich and diverse in population its little wonder that Melbourne is considered the most cosmopolitan and European city of Australia. Other sport highlights include the Australian Rules Football, Cricket .. and the nation stopping Melbourne Cup.
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