Tennis fans were left scrambling for the mute button as the pre-match entertainment for Sunday’s men’s singles final between Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal failed to hit the right note.
Violinist Nigel Kennedy and the Orchestra of Life’s mix of classical music with rock, punk and piano – described on a website promoting his ongoing tour as a “colourful kaleidoscope of sounds” – was a far cry from the usual entertainment served up before major sporting events.
Kennedy and his ensemble were accompanied by a light show, but the performance drew a puzzled reaction from fans inside and out of Rod Laver Arena.
— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 29, 2017
Once the performance was finished, sections of the crowd applauded but many stayed silent, perhaps still surprised by what they had witnessed.
On social media, the reaction was fierce, with complaints from angry tennis fans a constant, some of which are below.
— Jack Delosa (@JackDelosa) January 29, 2017
WTF was that #AusOpen!! You call that pre game entertainment music! That violin play was painful!
— Rezwan Haque (@rezwanshaque) January 29, 2017
— Jon Snow (@JonJonsnow3333) January 29, 2017
What in God's good name was that? They called it an original composition, I thought my TV was broken. #ausopen
— Blubberbutt T'cats (@ladyinavan) January 29, 2017
What did you think? Let us know in the comment section below.
Federer has how long left?!
Aussie legend John Newcombe says the Swiss maestro could play on for many years to come. Why? His family.
“He loves tennis,” Newcombe said.
“He’s got a family but he’s got a private jet, four nannies and half a billion in the bank – and his wife loves it. Happy wife, happy life.
“If he had a family that didn’t want to travel any more and he didn’t want to travel by himself, he probably wouldn’t be playing.”
Newcombe, a former world No.1 himself, added that “there’s no problem” with players continuing to play deep into their 30s.
That’s bad news for the rest of the tour.
Picture of the day
Mirka Federer’s sweater certainly caused a stir on Thursday night.
These fans clearly liked it, though, sporting ‘knockoffs’ for the men’s singles final.
— Ben Rothenberg (@BenRothenberg) January 29, 2017
The luckiest Aussie at Melbourne Park is …
The 19-year-old, ranked 290th, had the honour of practising with Federer before Sunday’s final.
It was a closed session but Jasika no doubt picked up some tips from the Swiss maestro.
Pleasure warming up the king tonight before his final 👊🏻 pic.twitter.com/yZtqIbReOU
— omar jasika (@OJasika) January 29, 2017
And working out with Rafa on game day …
… was Gold Coast Suns midfielder Gary Ablett.
The two-time Brownlow Medallist, formerly of Geelong, shared this picture with the Spaniard on Instagram.
A photo posted by GARY ABLETT (@garyablettjnr) on
Seven-time major winner Evonne Goolagong Cawley says that although Serena Williams will overtake Margaret Court’s record of 24 grand slam titles, it doesn’t mean she is a better player.
Serena’s win over sister Venus on Saturday gave her 23 major successes, one more than Steffi Graf, and the most in the Open era.
She is still behind Court, though, and Goolagong Cawley says her fellow Australian would have starred in any era.
“Some people say: ‘oh, they’re so fit today’. Well, Margaret Court was the first one, first professional woman – or maybe man – to actually take it into the gyms,” she said.
“She worked out on her body, she was very strong, very fast on the court. I mean, she only had to take one stride anyway; she had such long legs, long limbs.
“I’ll turn it around the other way. If you gave the (wooden) racquets to the players today, they wouldn’t be able to use them.
“So technology has gone ahead. When we used the small-faced racquets and wood racquets, we had to use every part of the court.
“If you didn’t have power, you had to have touch and serve and volley, which I found very exciting and that’s why I love watching Federer play, because of those skills.”