January 14, 2024

Australian Open day one LIVE updates: Grand slam begins at Melbourne Park

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Day one highlights

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Walton and Arnaldi going point for point

Aussie Adam Walton is locked in a tight battle with Italy’s Matteo Arnaldi at Kia Arena.

The pair have four games each and are going almost point for point at this (sorry) point.

Adam Walton.Credit: Getty


Weather report: a pretty nice day

While it wouldn’t be wise to forget a hat or not lather the sunscreen on, all weather reports are reading a pretty mild day.

Right now, it’s 19 degrees, partly cloudy but with plenty of sun peaking through.

To be straight with you, it’s just a really nice day. So far (this is Melbourne).

A great day for tennis, one might say.


Around the courts

Play has well and truly gotten underway at Melbourne Park.

While our Aussie wildcard Adam Welton grunts it out against Italy’s Matteo Arnaldi at Kia Arena, across the park Leylah Fernandez is facing Sara Bejlek on John Cain Arena.

On the smaller courts, Lesia Tsurenko and Lucia Bronzetti, Alexander Shevohenko and Jaume Munar and Kamilla Rakhimova and Emina Bektas are battling it out in each respective match.

It’s all looking pretty even in each so far, other than Bronzetti, who has the slight upper hand with three games to none over Tsurenko.


First Aussie takes the court

And we’re off!

Our first Aussie in action, 24-year-old wildcard Adam Walton, is out on Kia Arena, taking on world No.41 Matteo Arnaldi from Italy.

Adam Walton in Adelaide, January 08, 2024.Credit: Getty

Walton is making his home Slam debut and competing in his first major as a wildcard. He made his ATP Tour debut as a qualifier in Adelaide last week.

For those not at Melbourne Park today, the broadcast is live on the Nine Network – while also this live blog will be going all day! – and Stan Sport.


From budget to blowout: The essential guide to eating and drinking at the Australian Open

By Emma Breheny

Expect Italian favourites direct from Lygon Street, mezze from the Middle East, bites for the kids, and sandwiches. Lots of sandwiches.

Fish Shop’s prawn roll is the perfect hand-held summer snack.Credit: Chris Hopkins

The reveal of the restaurants catering to fans at the Australian Open is almost as keenly anticipated as the draw for the grand slam that turns Melburnians tennis-mad each January. Years of smart off-court programming mean the event now combines the city’s two great loves: sport and food. It’s easy to see why the tournament has such a hold on the city’s heart (and stomach).

The 2024 line-up continues to show off the best of our home-grown talent, with leading chefs such as Andrew McConnell (back for a second year) and Stokehouse’s Jason Staudt bringing dining experiences both casual and high-end to Melbourne Park.

Michael Costanzo from D.O.C (left),
Fabio Angele from Brunetti Classico and Luca Sbardella from King & Godfree.Credit: Chris Hopkins

You can try spiced popcorn seasoned with desert lime and other native Australian ingredients, made by First Nations-owned business Uncle Charlie’s. There’s an homage to Lygon Street studded with some of our most enduring Italian eateries, cocktails from top bars, family-friendly feasting (and prices) on Grand Slam Oval, and heart-warming hospitality success stories – it’s the best of the Melbourne culinary scene, all in one place.

There is something for everyone, from those on budget to those wanting to blow it out. Here’s good guide from Good Food for you.


The draws

Who is playing who, and when, you ask?

Well, do we have some graphics for you!


Heading along to Melbourne Park today? Here are some tips.

First up, pack on plenty of sunscreen.

Then add a hat, sunglasses, water bottle and your best credit/debit card as the tournament is cashless.

Those holes in the ozone layer will get you.

The scene at Melbourne Park on Saturday.Credit: Getty

You can get there by foot, tram, car, bus or train (we have a guide here). When there, there are so, so many food options to enjoy, including some Brunetti treats and Lygon street bites to keep things oh so very Melbourne.

Or, if you’re tempted to watch from the comfort of a couch (yours or a friend’s), matches will be shown on free to air on Nine, which is the host broadcaster, with every court being streamed online on 9Now and Stan Sport.


Aussie in action today had a wild ride from GoFundMe plea to $120k Open payday

By Marc McGowan

It’s been a big few days for Australian tennis player Dane Sweeny, who will take on Argentina’s Francisco Cerundolo on John Cain Arena.

Dane Sweeny on his way to defeating Belgian Zizou Bergs in a qualifying match on Friday.Credit: AAP

The 22-year-old booked his maiden grand slam main draw berth in Australian Open qualifying on Friday, and by Saturday afternoon was exchanging forehands and backhands with world No.1 Novak Djokovic on Rod Laver Arena.

Sweeny, from the Sunshine Coast, is already guaranteed a $120,000 payday, which equates to more than a quarter of his career prizemoney to date. By comparison – an unfair one, admittedly – Melbourne Park’s record-breaking, 10-time champion Djokovic has already pocketed about $270 million in on-court earnings.

It is a remarkable turnaround in fortunes for Sweeny, who went more than five months last year without back-to-back wins on the secondary Challenger Tour, and four years ago resorted to starting a GoFundMe page in a desperate bid to keep chasing his dream.

Read the full article by Marc McGowan here.

Cerundolo is ranked 22nd in the world.


Day one highlights


What gives Djokovic his edge over newcomers?

By Jake Niall and Nathan Perri

Novak Djokovic is 16 years older and five centimetres taller than Carlos Alcaraz. He’s won 22 more grand slam singles titles, appeared in 36 major singles finals to Alcaraz’s two, and has earned $US180 million ($264 million) on tour compared with the young Spaniard’s $US22.5 million ($33 million).

Novak Djokovic is still ahead of Carlos Alcaraz, Ben Shelton and Jannik Sinner.Credit: Marija Ercegovac

Alcaraz could win two grand slam titles a year for the next decade, and he’d still trail Djokovic on that score, while Jannik Sinner – the young Italian viewed as next in line to challenge Djokovic and Alcaraz for supremacy – is yet to make a final of one of the sport’s feted four events.

Remarkably, there is still a gap between world No.1 Djokovic and the tyros seeking to wrest the crown finally from him.

View our interactives here to find out what gives the Djokovic the edge over the up-and-comers.

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