Every January, Melbourne hosts the first Grand Slam tennis tournament of the year, The Australian Open. This special event is special any year, but the upcoming 2018 edition is going to be one you just can’t miss. Still deciding if you want to fly to the Southern Hemisphere for this world-class tournament? Don’t double fault! Here’s why you need to be in the stands when the first serve goes up on 15 January 2018.
1. One name; Roger Federer
In 2017, Federer won the Australian Open in one of the most remarkable achievements in tennis history. Yet, Federer will be 36 years old when the Australian Open begins in January 2018. This could very well be his last ever attempt to win the title in Melbourne. Can you imagine if he repeated as champion and you were there to see it?
2. One more name: Andy Murray
Murray has been to five, yes five, Australian Open finals. Yet, he’s never won the tournament. The reigning Wimbledon champion is still at the top of his game and primed to finally win it all. Will this be the year that he breaks through and raises the trophy at Rod Laver Arena? It very well could be, and you’re invited to cheer him on from the arena.
3. Serena Williams… is back?
Serena Williams has won two of the last three singles titles at the Australian Open. With the birth of her first child expected in late August, her participation in the January tournament was not expected. However, recent reports have surfaced that Serena is planning to return to tennis at the 2018 Australian Open. The greatest female tennis player of all time returning from a near-year-long layoff to defend her title? Got to be there for it.
4. January is summer in Melbourne
Average temperature in Melbourne in January: 21C.
Average temperature in London in January: 5C.
5. Tickets will be on sale soon and you can easily get them
There’s nothing worse than finding out about an event at the same time you find out that its already sold out. Worry not about the Australian Open. Tickets will go on sale shortly and you’ll have time to book your tennis tickets and your flights!
6. There’s more than tennis
World class can describe both the players in the Australian Open and the city that hosts the tournament. Melbourne is famous for its cafe culture, iconic laneways, memorable landmarks and supreme creativity. The courts of the Australian Open are within walking distance of the city’s Central Business District, meaning visitors can not only enjoy the best tennis on the planet, they can explore the best of Australia’s cultural capital at the same time.
7. There’s even more outside the city
While the tournament runs two weeks long, we recommend taking a trip of at least a month. Why? As you can see, there’s endless exploring to do in the city but also in the surrounding areas outside of Melbourne. Hire a car and take an unforgettable road trip or complete the short journey to Phillip Island where penguins come ashore by the thousands each night. The possibilities are endless: vineyard-hopping in the Yarra Valley, wildlife-spotting at Wilsons Prom, surfing in Torquay…best to explore our website first for all of your sixth set options!
8. The players are tourists too
Tennis players love coming to Melbourne for the Australian Open and it’s not uncommon to see them playing tourist just like you before or after the tournament. Five-time-champion, Roger Federer is a frequent passenger on the famous Puffing Billy Railway.
9. Our famous food will be at its freshest
Summer in Victoria means a lot of great things, including growing season. What does that mean? Melbourne’s great chefs have access to the freshest ingredients from the lush lands surrounding the city. That makes the menus at some of the city’s award-winning restaurants like Attica and Vue du Monde even more delicious.
9. You can watch the Australian Open at a decent hour
With such harsh time differences, it’s a tough ask in the UK to watch the Australian Open on television. If you come to Australia for the tournament, you won’t have to stay up into the wee hours of the morning to witness tennis legends competing. Enjoy watching Federer, Nadal, Djokovic in summer sunshine while your friends and family back home are fast asleep.
10. The end of the tournament isn’t the end of the road… it’s the beginning
What’s the best way to cap off two weeks of watching world-class tennis in Victoria? By taking one of the world’s greatest drives on The Great Ocean Road. The entrance to this famous road is just a two-hour drive from Rod Laver Arena and a journey down the GOR is a must-do when visiting Australia.
12. Flights and hotels are available now
Getting to the 2018 Australian Open from the UK isn’t a problem. Airlines are taking reservations now and the city’s hotels will save you a room as well. We recommend booking in the Central Business District, which puts you right in the heart of the city and within walking distance to the courts.
We’ll see you in 2018! Beyond tennis, there are countless reasons to make your way to Melbourne next year. For trip planning help, visit our website www.visitmelbourne.com