A Tennis Match for the ages


The usual Australia Open tennis competition which peaks on the weekend following Australia Day, is for this year, anything but usual. The two grand old masters of the modern era, Federer and Nadal, each hacked and mowed down 6 opponents to reach the final and last night, watched by a legend in his day whose name crowns the tennis venue in the marvelous Melbourne Park, served up the feast everyone hoped it would be.

It was a match few in Melbourne would miss, whether in situ in Melbourne Park or elsewhere on television. So Tress and I got with the program. It had been a warm day and after church and Madam K, we had dropped by Alex and Li Har’s home to give them Kiddo’s invitation card. They had been travelling for 6 weeks and had just returned a couple of days before. We then went grocery shopping and I had spent the arvo cooking. We had planned to do more letter boxing but it was still very warm when we were “ready” at around 6pm and I didn’t like the idea of walking around for over an hour in that heat.

We had done over an hour of that on Saturday morning, when it was much more pleasant, before heading into the city. We had planned to visit the food (durian) stall of Adam, Tress’ cousin, at the Crown Riverwalk. When we got into the city, we decided to first go visit the shrine put up by dozens of flowers and teddy bears on the corner of Bourke and Swanston Street. It was very sad just looking at the cards. We decided to have lunch at Tim Ho Wan before going back to Bourke to see the other end on Elizabeth Street where the shrine was far bigger. The sadness was overwhelming.

We finally made our way to the Crown esplanade area and mingled with a vibrant Chinese New Year. We caught up with Auntie Pin and just milled with the crowd before leaving late on. Back home, we took the little furry fellow to the oval and he had a wonderful time, as did we. We had spent the day walking a fair bit and didn’t feel like any walk but the little fellow was just visibly happy to be there, playing with the other dogs. His blindness appeared to have interfered little with his social fun.

That night the ladies’ tennis final was on and even though the Williams sisters’ final were also a memorable event, the “Fedal” of Sunday night was on another level. Federer’s momentous achievement deserved more viewing time – the speeches and trophy presentations were just as much compulsory viewing as the match proper. So I only crawled into bed around midnight and my usual wake time meant I only managed less than 4½ hours’ sleep. Coffee has been a close friend today…

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