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Aussie Open Diary Sat 19th Jan

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A night session seat in the Rod Laver Arena has been the best value ticket since Prince charged £31 for his spellbinding shows in London recently.

On Thursday, 60 Aussie Dollars (£26) gave you Safin/Baghdatis (plus Ivanovic as the support act) while Friday's ticket for 70 Dollars (£31) got you Mauresmo/Dellacqua and then Roddick/Kohlschreiber.

And you don't have to be on a waiting list or a member of some secret society to get a ticket.

At the time of writing, tickets are still available for every day session in the second week plus finals weekend. And I'm not talking ground passes, these are centre court tickets!

It's brilliant that this tournament, based on the banks of the River Yarra, a fifteen minute walk from the city centre, is so accessible. The crowd is young and old, families and friends, and if the walk is too much in the heat they can turn up by tram or water taxi.

And then, when they arrive, they get to see world class tennis with three dramatic matches over the past two evenings.

Safin/Baghdatis was a frightening display of power hitting over five intense sets, Dellacqua's upset of Mauresmo kept the home flags flying and then Roddick/Kohlschreiber bowled us all over with a total of 183 winners.

What a match that was.

Kohlschreiber's backhand is arguably the best in the mens game since the demise of Gaston Gaudio, and the running winner he hit late in the match under pressure was the shot of the tournament.

Although the backhand lob, 6-5 set-point down in the 3rd set tie-break, wasn't bad either.

Roddick, especially late in the match, continued to come into the backhand and virtually every time he was passed.

If that wasn't demoralising enough, he discovered later that he'd hit 42 aces, more than he's ever hit before in a match, and still lost.

Kohlschreiber is on his way into the top 20 and, on this evidence, could be on the verge of the top 10 by the US Open.

"Don't put him in the tennis hierarchy just yet," said a spikey Roddick. Don't worry, Andy, we won't - and some don't even put you there, by the way.

What a shame the match ended at 2.05am in a half full stadium. The previous night, the crowd was even lower for the end of the Safin/Baghdatis match at 12.30am on a school night.

People don't buy a ticket for the night session with the aim of missing the finale. Loads of matches over the past few years have finished at gone midnight and something needs to be done.

It's time evening sessions around the world changed to one singles, men or women, and one doubles.

When you consider you have to spend best part of £50 to see 90 minutes of Premier League football, one big-name singles match is quite sufficient to deliver value for money - especially when it ends up going the distance.

Last night the crowd got 6 hours of action. Unbelieveable value, in fact too much value because most people left before the end.






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posted Jan 19, 2008

It's really impressive that she's able to keep her concentration and play this well, especially considering that there's a court case against her thanks to a overzealous nutjob.

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comment by shivfan (U2435266)

posted Jan 19, 2008

Venus breaks! That vital seventh game goes the American's way....

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posted Jan 19, 2008

What will Baghdatis and Hewitt be hoping for..? biggrin

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comment by shivfan (U2435266)

posted Jan 19, 2008

5-3, and Venus is one game away from the fourth round now....

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posted Jan 19, 2008

Great!!

Baghdatis vs Hewitt match is on.

Bit strange that a match is starting at 11:45 PM. Bet it goes uptill 3 in the morning.

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comment by shivfan (U2435266)

posted Jan 19, 2008

Venus serves it out emphatically! This was a very impressive performance by the American against an opponent who was playing well....

I'm really looking forward to that quarter-final with Ivanovic!

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posted Jan 19, 2008

So guys predict the winner here..

I think Hewitt will dig deep and will win in 4 sets. Though i'm supporting Baghdatis. I've never liked any of them to be honest.

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posted Jan 19, 2008

If this match goes to 5 sets it could be a very late night, or early morning, for everyone out there reporting in Melbourne!

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posted Jan 19, 2008

jonathan, I am in total agreement with what you say. For me, this past week the men´s game has given us excellence in mind, spirit, skill and serious grit. The level of ability on disply and of serious intent is awesome, even in the lesser matches. I just want to comment that English footballers are overpaid, overrated thugs really whose conduct off the Court is worse than it is on it - but you always get the excuses made for them by the Press. I think they should watch the Australian Open and learn what true sportsmanship is, what true endeavour is and above all, how to conduct yourself in a sportsmanlike and professional manner - however bad things are on the Court. I have been seriously humbled by some of the drive and enthusiasm shown by the great athletes out there on the Court - it is a truly spectacular world sporting event - this year´s Aussie Open - and I am thrilled to be able to watch it.

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posted Jan 19, 2008

Yep I agree totally. However, I know I might sound a bit ancient saying this, but I still prefer tennis to be played on grass, so for me the Wimbledon tournament is still the best and most exciting. Also, I would prefer to see a bit of green somewhere on my screen and the Australian Open does seem to have overdone it just a bit with the blue everywhere. Obviously a bit of blue Australian humour for which they are renowned.

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