As a fan of tennis, and a regular attendee of the Australian Open every since it moved to Melbourne Park (previously Flinders Park) in 1988 I had a unique and unexpected COVID related opportunity this year to attend the AusOpen 2022 Women’s Singles Final.
On Thursday morning I received an email from Tennis Australia that extra tickets were available for the tennis Semi Finals and Finals as the State Government had increased the capacity COVID crowd limits from 50% to 65%. Normally you would need to buy a finals ticket 4 months out or more but this time I had the opportunity to get a ticket if I acted quickly.
I didn’t know exactly who would be playing but knew there was a good chance World Number 1 and Australian Ash Barty would make the final. Even if she didn’t going to the Women’s Singles Final would compliment going to the AusOpen 2018 Men’s Singles Final. While a ticket is expensive it isn’t like I’ve gone out a lot over the last two years with almost 220 days in COVID lockdowns, many events cancelled, and international and interstate travel unfeasible and even banned for most of that time.
I had enjoyed my annual visit on Friday of the visit week to Margaret Court Arena for the third round singles with my brother Reagan but a Grand Slam final is something else.
In the end I got to experience Ash Barty (AUS) beat Danielle Collins (USA) 6-3, 7-6 (7-2 tie break) with Ash coming back from 1-5 down in the second inspirational set. What an amazing night of tennis, the crowd was pumping but also nervous on whether Ash could break the 44 year drought for a men and women local competition. It was a stunning performance and feel good event and there haven’t been many of them in recent years.
The ticket also allowed me to watch the all Australian Mens Doubles Final as well of Kokkinakis & Kyrgios beating Edben and Purcell 7-5, 6-4 but I wasn’t that interested in this lesser event played after the Women’s Final and only stayed for the first set walking home listening to the match and watching the last few points near midnight.
A real unexpected bonus. I’ll have to adjust my strict budget to cover this event but totally WORTH IT 🙂