One of the beautiful things about grand slams is that you get to come across all sorts of players, men, women, juniors, legends and wheelchair stars all at the same event, in the same venue.
The mix is just so refreshing considering most tournaments don’t even have men and women at the same place at the same time.
There are lots of fun characters playing the Legends tournament this year in Melbourne, many of which are back on tour in the form of ‘Super Coaches’ like Martina Navratilova, Lindsay Davenport, Goran Ivanisevic, Ivan Ljubicic – who is far too young to be called a legend by the way – and Michael Chang.
We had an all-access hour with the legends the other day and it was hilarious how Todd Woodbridge prompted Jonas Bjorkman to pick a winner in the men’s draw with Ljubicic, who coaches Milos Raonic, and Chang, who coaches Kei Nishikori, on either side of him urging him to tip their own player for the win.
Naturally, the Swede chose Novak Djokovic.
Always a fun guy to hear from is Ivanisevic, here solo without his student Marin Cilic, who is sidelined with a shoulder injury.
“Something is wrong, the coach is in good shape and the player is injured. It should be the other way round,” laughed Ivanisevic.
The Croat makes a fair point!
The on-court interviews and announcements here at Melbourne Park have been a combination of cringe-worthy moments and funny bloopers so far this tournament.
Earlier in the week, Eugenie Bouchard said she found it strange that the announcer giving a summary of her career while she warmed up ahead of a match talked about her and her twin sister and how they are named after British royalty.
“When I was on court he mentioned my twin sister, Beatrice. It was super weird. He even mentioned like Prince Andrew and stuff. I'm doing overheads and I'm like, Did he just say Prince Andrew? Like what does that have to do with my tennis career? I don't know what that was about,” said Bouchard.
Andy Murray reluctantly admitted he could be going commando to his wedding when he was questioned on court after one of his wins whether he would be wearing a kilt or a suit for his upcoming wedding to fiancée Kim Sears. “Proper kilt?” asked the interviewer.” To which Murray said yes. “So, freeballing?” A red-faced Murray said yes before adding: “Can I go now, I have a match in two days?”
That was definitely an unexpected turn of events on Rod Laver Arena.
Wednesday night, Novak Djokovic was asked what he thought when he looked up to his box to find that his coach Boris Becker had left the stadium for a bit.
“Like everyone he needs to go to the toilet. But not in the first game of the third set, Boris, please!” said a smiling Djokovic.
Andy Murray will face Tomas Berdych in the semi-finals of the Australian Open after beating crowd favourite Nick Kyrgios in straight sets.
Speaking at the Australian Open on 27th January, Michael Chang, Goran Ivanisevic and Ivan Ljubicic discuss why so many successful former tennis players have moved into coaching over the last few years.