Fear not, dear reader. This isn’t just a guide to the best matches to see. It’s also a handy overview of the best gigs to see, food to dip into, and special events to check while you’re down there too. Consider it your one-stop guide to making sure you have a grand slam of a time at this year’s tournament.
Australian Open 2018: Round 2, Wednesday January 17 & Thursday January 18
R. Nadal V. L. Mayer
Spanish favourite Rafael Nadal has 16 grand slams under his belt. Could he make it 17 this year? The number one seed in this year’s Australian open, he takes on Argentinean underdog Leonardo Mayer in a rare chance to see one of the greats before finals tickets become impossible to score. Fun fact: Mayer was involved in the third longest tennis match of all time, clocking in at six hours and 43 minutes.
Pair it with: James Reyne Plays Australian Crawl
Classic Aussie songwriter James Reyne is ready to belt out some classic when he hits the AO Live Stage from 7pm. He’ll be playing hits from the Australian Crawl catalogue including ‘The Boys Light Up’ and ‘Reckless’.
J. Millman V. D. Dzumhur
Get behind some Australian talent when John Millman faces off against Bosnian Damir Dzumhur. Dzumhur made it through to this round in five sets, while Millman breezed through in three. Here’s hoping our boy makes it through. After all, there’s not too much better than seeing Australia come through with the goods at the Australian Open.
Pair it with: Ash Grunwald
The award-winning Aussie musician takes to the AO Live Stage with a set full of hip shaking, experimental blues. Down and dirty rhythms meet electronic beats, opening the stage from 6pm.
N. Krygios V. V. Troicki
The ever divisive Nick Krygios has powered through to the second round. Will he keep his cool and continue to make his way to the top, or will his notorious temper get the better of him? Either way, find out when it all comes to a head against staunch Serbian Viktor Troicki.
Pair it with: lunch at Grand Slam Oval
Leaders of modern Mexican cuisine, Mamasita, are returning once again to cook up their dearly loved selection of tacos and burritos. It may be the Australian Open, but that doesn’t mean you can’t go south of the border for lunch.
A. Kerber V. D. Veklc
Former world No. 1 Angelique Kerber is still one of the ones to watch this Open, enjoying a seed of 21. She once rose to the finals of the US Open when ranked at 92 in the world, so it’s safe to say she’s possible of almost anything. She’ll take on the fiercely competitive Donna Vekic, who at 21 years of age has already shown strong talent and spirit. A must-watch battle of two generations of tennis.
Pair it with: Meg Mac
Widely acclaimed Australian singer-songwriter has you covered. Since being discovered through triple j Unearthed, she’s gone on from strength to strength receiving an ARIA nomination and lauded sets at Splendour, Groovin’ the Moo and Falls. Catch her live, performing cuts from her gorgeous album Low Blows from 7pm.
M. Sharapova V. A. Sevastova
Sharapova put the controversy that surrounded her return to the Australian Open to bed with a straight-set win to kick off her time at the tournament. Here’s your chance to see one of the world’s greats, when she takes on Sevastova in what’s bound to be a thrilling expose of world-class tennis.
Pair it with: Angie McMahon
Melbourne-based songwriter Angie McMahon will captivate with her rich storytelling, lyricism and haunting vocals. Find out why she’s one of this year’s artists poised to take over 2018 when she hits the AO Live Stage from 6pm.
D. Gavrilova V. E. Mertens
Australia’s own Daria Gavrilova will take on Belgian player Elise Mertens in this chance to get behind some homegrown talent. However, it won’t be easy for the Australian – with Mertens recently becoming the first player in history to win multiple times at the Hobart International. Here’s hoping.
Pair it with: the AO Ballpark
Whether you’re bringing your younger brother along or you’re just a big kid at heart, the AO Ballpark is well worth checking out. NERF Battle Zones, mini tennis, rock climbing and a 60-metre zip line are all on deck to check out. What’s not to love?