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unlike other Grand Slam tournaments, the Australian Open promotes relaxation

unlike other Grand Slam tournaments, the Australian Open promotes relaxation
Written by nismiste


Spectators watch the Australian Open on a giant screen at 'Garden Square' on Friday, January 20, 2023 at Melbourne Park, where the Australian tournament is held.

In the bon chic bon family of tennis, each of the four Grand Slam numbers deftly develops its own distinction. There’s Wimbledon, the elegant dean, a bit outdated. Romantic weak Roland-Garros. Playful teenager, US Open. And then there’s the Australian Open, which is the last-place finish. The first meet of the season isn’t the most prestigious, but the neon-adorned event, “happy bump” (“happy bump”). Legend has it that the father of this nickname goes to Roger Federer every year to describe the atmosphere that reigns at opposite poles.

“Everything here is practical, well-organized. I’m not saying others aren’t, but this is really nice and comfortable, it helps a lot.” still leased Switzerland a few years ago.

It hasn’t always been like this. Between the 1970s and the early 1980s, the event was scorned by the best. Björn Borg and Ilie Nastase only played once, while Jimmy Connors only played twice. The journey to the end of the world was seen as very tiring by players in the northern hemisphere, especially since the two weeks coincided with the middle of Christmas.

In the mid-1980s, the Australian Open decided to make its own revolution: the tournament was postponed to January, leaving the suburbs of Melbourne to approach the city centre, and moving from hard grass to roofs and a new surface. The old idiot who gets on the train of modernity first becomes the top of the class.

In the middle of the Australian summer, just a twenty-minute walk from the skyscrapers of the business district, Melbourne Park transforms into a joyful fair for two weeks for young and (very) older children who vibrate in harmony for the little felt. ball. Of the four major tournaments, the Australian Grand Slam is undoubtedly the most intergenerational, a symbol of a sporting culture handed down from the cradle.

Thermometer playing yoyo in Melbourne

Named after local legend and his two calendar Grand Slams (winning all four Majors in one calendar year), the large garden in the shade of Rod Laver Arena is Garden Square, where families watch the games while picnicking on the lemongrass-scented lawn. on a giant screen. They can also share table tennis, padels and other recreational games set on 20 hectares by the Yarra River – the adjacent Roland-Garros, after its recent expansion, does not exceed 12.5 hectares for some, even to some. This is exactly what gives it its charm. They even have their own amusement park for kids under 10 to play with Lego or test their agility on a tree climbing course.

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