Thursday, January 30, 2014
The Finals at Melbourne Park
The Finals of the tournament are played at Melbourne Park. The players who made the finals are picked up by a car and taken over to the park. Kia is the official car sponsor of the Australia Open. The matches began at 12, but we decided to go over early. Our credentials got us in and since there weren’t many people around AND we were early, it seemed to me to be the perfect time to sneak on a court and hit a little!!! Yes, we can all say we have officially hit on courts at the Australian Open! These weren’t the practice courts, but the real deal. Not only did we play, but a few of us climbed up in the chair and did some officiating. A special thrill for Don, was being made an honorary ball boy. I didn’t know this was a dream of his when he was young and played competitive tennis. Let’s call this picture, “One of these things is not like the other.” As I watched all the final matches being played, I kept wishing everyone could see this level of tennis. Adaptive players with 80mph serves and the ability to take on any 5.0 player and most likely win is out there and I am seeing it first hand. How does the USA look? We are good, but now we have a starting point. We need to train our higher level players all year long to be able to compete in the world wide tournaments. This tournament is a template. Over the next few years, work will to have all the Grand Slams include an Adaptive section. This is an exciting time to be a part of tennis!