Most people on the trip knew early on that our free day in Melbourne would be spent at the Australian Open. Although not a huge tennis fan myself, I knew this was a once in a lifetime opportunity and one that I would certainly regret if I didn’t take it. So I did.
I saw one of the best there ever was at doing anything, ever – Roger Federer. Although I didn’t get to see him in an actual match, I was able to elbow my way through the impossibly big crowd that had formed at the practice court to see him warm up. It was amazing to see the kind of reverence people had for this legend. He drew the biggest crowd I had seen all day, and he wasn’t even playing in a match. Being that close to greatness and seeing the kind of response people had to it was inspiring. Days were made by simply capturing a blurry photo of him on a phone. The match of the day however, belonged to fellow Aussies, James Duckworth and Benjamin Mitchell. For five sets and almost four and a half hours, these two hometown favorites battled it out with one of the most passionate crowds I have ever seen looking on. It was the only match of the day containing two Australians, and the loyalty in that stadium was overwhelming. It felt as if every person in the crowd was not just a countryman, but part of the same family.
I had never been to a sporting event of that magnitude before and it was a tremendous spectacle.
Perhaps best day yet. If not number one, certainly in the top ten.