The first day of the Australian Open 2015 is here and, to be honest, I feel like a kid at Christmas as I look forward to the Aussie Open more than any other event.
I guess it’s to do with childhood memories, travelling down to watch matches and then as I got older hoping I’d be playing at the Nationals at Melbourne Park and later the Australian Open juniors
It’s just such a special event and holds so many great memories for me.
The place has changed a lot over the years, and that’s down to Craig Tiley and his team doing a great job.
I was fortunate enough to open the new Margaret Court Arena back in September, it’s an amazing facility and just blew me away when I saw it finished and now I will be playing the night match on it against Federico Delbonis.
I can’t wait as the last time I played on MCA was against Benoit Paire and it’s still the best atmosphere I’ve ever played in front of, I’m just hoping the crowd come out and support again and I can experience those feelings again but of course with a different outcome.
Training has gone well, it’s no secret I’ve been struggling with my back and I would have liked to have more matches in both Perth and Sydney coming in but that wasn’t to be.
I’ll have to go out and compete with whatever I have on the night, and I can assure you I will be leaving nothing to chance.
These are the events we work hard for all year and when your career is over these are the events on which you will be measured, I’m so aware of that and have a constant drive to be ready to fire it up at the majors. I really can’t wait to get going.
The Aussies actually have favourable draws for a change, apart from Thanasi we all have matches on paper we would back ourselves to win but watch out for the Kokk
He’s playing some big ball and can cause the upset. None of the matches are going to be easy and Federico is a great pro and I’m expecting a huge battle out on MCA.
The weekend leading in to the Open is always a hectic one, players are becoming more anxious about the event starting and then you have the customary nerves which always make for some pretty heated practice sessions as well as conversations at the lunch table too.
I had a lot of press on Sunday which is mandatory for all players to give a press conference and interviews to the Australian Open broadcasters or official media partners, I’m getting used to these sort of things now and am breezing through them now although to be honest I could do without them.
Saturday was a pretty big day for me too, we announced that WME and IMG would be partnering with my existing management company GSC.
It’s an exciting prospect and I’m looking forward to working with WME IMG.
My manger John Morris will remain in his role and we will have Carlos Fleming as our point of contact at WME IMG, I’ll also have access to the IMG academy in Florida which I love training at, so it works on so many levels.
We also had the Australian Open kids day presented by Nickelodeon which was such great fun out on Rod Laver Arena, I was on a team with Thanners and Genie Bouchard against Vika, Ana Ivanovic and Roger Federer. It was a great experience and a great opportunity to get out in front on the crowd on RLA which is one of the best arenas in world tennis.
I have to give a special mention to Lleyton Hewitt who is appearing in his 19th straight Open.
What an achievement and an unbelievable sign of his longevity at the top of the game and with the eyes of the world on Melbourne watching the Australian Open, let’s get behind all the Aussies and show that Australian tennis is re-emerging as a major force in world tennis and we can mix it with the very best in the business.