The Australian Open: The First Time I Saw It

Nick Kyrgios complains of marijuana smell during US Open second round win

If he’s as good as the hype, he’ll probably be able to carry the Australian Open.Photo: Getty Images

The first time I saw the Australian Open, I was in the lobby of a hotel before the tournament began. As so often happens with big sporting events, the players were wearing T-shirts emblazoned with big words: “Come to the Open”, “We’re in it for the money” and “Go big or go home.”

I wasn’t particularly interested in the Open, especially not after seeing the name of the tournament for the first time.

I had never had a bad experience anywhere – I’d just never been to a tennis event.

However, once inside my room, I read the tournament brochure for the first time. I was expecting it to be a few pages of photos of players in action, a description of the different courts, a table with the exact times for the different rounds, a description of the clothing requirements, a list of the various tournament sponsors and a list of the prize money.

Instead, I found a photo of a naked man with a tennis racquet and a lit cigarette.

I could have walked out and never looked back.

I was not put off. I was fascinated.

I didn’t even need to ask questions.

I knew what I wanted to do. I knew the type of person I would be like. I knew what the tournament would be like. And with that knowledge, I was able to watch every episode of the TV show that followed along until it was time for me to go.

And at one point, that was all it meant to me. I was there for the sport, my interest was there for the sport, and I wasn’t expecting anything more.

That is, until I left the grandstands at Melbourne

Leave a Comment