Last year’s Australian Open painted the story of two unseeded, not as well known players competing in the final. Tsonga was a chilling reminder of a young Mohammed Ali fighting his way through his matches as the underdog. His opponent the very funny Djokovic, was incredibly good at doing imitations of Sharapova and Nadal serving.
There doesn’t seem to be much of that this year. The seeded players are playing their expected parts as protaginists. Again we have ethnic fights with the capsicum spray replaced with plastic chairs. We had Hewitt holding our chances last year, and this year an even more controversial Dokic proving that Aussies do give everyone a fair chance.
One thing that hasn’t changed is the crappy management of Channel 7. The Open is filmed in HD, which is broadcast to international markets but not Australia. Channel 7 decided to cut costs and is broadcasting it’s games locally in SD. Every other channel strives to broadcast sports in HD but 7 has shown it doesn’t care about its audience. 7 has the normal SD channel as well as the HD channel which it could broadcast games on but won’t air different games on the channels. Today was probably the worst moment when they cut to the news in the middle of the Federer match. In some states, they interrupted with the news and an episode of Hot Property.
Fortunately, we are living in the internet age, and there is a wonderful site called Channelsurfing.net which shows the games on Rod Laver, Hisense, Margaret Court, and some of the show courts. All live, no commentary and almost the same quality as 7.
Still nothing beats going to the Open if you are in Melbourne. A $29 ground pass gives you almost 10 hours of games. There is no better value for money in sports.