Sunday, February 24, 2019

Australian Open Adventure - Day 3

[Composed 1/17/2019]

Shockingly, today we started the day with a non-tennis activity. We made our way over to the Queen Victoria Market to do some browsing. We arrived as folks were setting up, so we mostly had the place to ourselves. You can tell the market is massive and the goods quite varied. From discount t-shirts, to hand painted jewelry, to kangaroo and crocodile meat, this place has it all. It's the most impressive market we've seen this trip, and while not quite as colorful as the markets of Morocco or Japan, it still ranks up there as being impressive.

Have no fear, by 11:08am, we were in our seats ready to watch more tennis!

While we had the opportunity to see the legendary Roger Federer sweep Taylor Fritz, the real highlights of the day were watching a couple of the so called next generation players work their magic. There's a handful of 20'ish year olds that are making a splash in the tennis world, and today we saw two of them: Stefanos Tsitsipas and Frances Tiafoe.

The Tsitsipas v Basilashvili match clearly highlighted Tsitsipas's potential. He had flashes of running down balls like Djokovic, with impressive slides and amazing court agility. And then there was Tiafoe v Seppi. When we arrived on scene Tiafoe was down two sets, and it looked like the 35 year Andreas Seppi was going to put the youngster in his place. Tiafoe fought his way back, and managed to take the match. Tiafoe's celebration showed just how pumped up he was by his victory. Of course, if I had those six pack abs I'd use every opportunity to take my shirt off, too.

At the last US Open, we'd seen Zverev, another 21 next gen'er lose to the more senior Kohlschreiber. That moment gave me pause as to just how quickly these kids are going to rise to fame. And yet today's performance by Tiafoe and Tsitsipas left no doubt in my mind that I was looking at future #1 players.

Today wasn't all about the kids, though. We also got to see the Bryan Brothers take on Mannarino and Mies. While it's always fun to watch the Bryan Brothers, this match was especially sweet because this was Bob's first tournament back from hip surgery.

Hard to believe, but tomorrow is our last day of tennis. Oy, this vacation is quickly coming to an end!

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