My name is Mats Merkel, I am a 28-year-old tennis coach working on the tennis tour traveling about 25-30 weeks a year. For the past six years I have been working for the adidas player development program, a team that includes 4 coaches: Sven Groeneveld, Darren Cahill, Gil Reyes and me.
Within this time I have been working with both WTA and ATP players such as Henin, Ivanovic, Wozniacki, Morita, Cirstea, Kirilenko, Pavlyuchenkova, Robson, Sock, De Bakker, Verdasco, Tsonga and Murray.
During this Australian Open I will have the pleasure to write daily blogs and provide you with information on what is going on here Down Under. Enjoy!
Today is the first day of the Australian Open, the first Grand Slam of the year. All players participating had some time to get ready for the “hottest” Slam of the year.
The temperatures here in Melbourne are actually always varying. It can be hot and sunny up to 30 degrees Celsius (86 degrees F) at 11 a.m. when match play begins, but it can also be freezing with a cold breeze at around 17 degrees (63 F). So the players have to be ready for everything.
This morning at 9 a.m. Maria Sharapova, last year’s women’s finalist, was warming up at Rod Laver Arena getting ready for her match at 11 a.m., which she won impressively against Pouchkova 6-0. 6-0.
The stadium was empty as you can see. The gates officially open at 10 a.m. so spectators have enough time to find a good seat and put on some sunscreen.
The Australian Open fans have a very special reputation because they dress up like it is a carnival, using different colors of sunscreen for their face. They can be very loud supporters as well.
A lot of young and upcoming players are to be watched out for as the new year starts.
The absolute highlight of the day was to see the Astralian Open Trophy at Rod Laver Arena.
Very special to see it that up close.
The link for the order of play is attached below.
Enjoy the first Day of the Australian and i hope there will be a lot of good matches on TV. Follow me on twitter to get some more information during the entire day: @matsmerkel
Have a great day,