Another day at RLA: Australian Open Men’s semi final day

January 2023

As it’s been 3 years since the experience of buying Australian Open tickets, I had no recollections of the popularity of the tickets so I’d assume its competitive. Always book spontaneously so setting the ticket sale day on calendar was not planned. Tried to book the tickets on desktop at first but the site already indicated there were no tickets left and panic flooded in 🫠 eventually managed to book this semi final day session on mobile.

Men’s Semi final

We have been more emotionally invested in Men’s tour recently with a wide spectrum of faves, so regardless who went on playing in the semi final I was pretty sure there would be someone to root for. And semi finals have always been more competitive than in finals (given the emergence of new slam finalists in recent years).
The eventual schedule turned out to be Tsitsipas vs Khachanov. Not a tsitsi-fan but a Khachanov stan 😂 I was hoping it could go 5 set, but it ended as a very dramatic 4 set match.

3 sets? Karen said, not yet mate

Set one was full of nerves and energy. Karen lost serve first but broke back immediately. And then they went into tiebreak in which Tsitsipas dominated completely. At 3pm the Sun of Melbourne is shining like diamond, it is extremely to see the ball especially when it’s flying at 200km/hr. The winners by both of them were CRAZILY fast, almost too hard to keep track of where the ball was!
Tsitsipas dominated labouring Karen to run both sides and had so much more opportunities. As we thought oh gosh could it be a 2 hr clean winning sheet, tsitsi got broken when he was serving for the match at 5:3 3rd set. Professionally, this is called “choke” 😂 and he really lost his serve with a very horrible overhead smash(djokosmash). Subsequently he lost the dramatic tiebreak and there goes the 4th set.


Australian open is one of the slams that uses electronic line calling. It does more than calling In or Out, but also serving faults. Tsitsipas was ruled footfault 3 times in the match and the volume of machine yelling “FOOTFAULT” was startling. It was funny how tsitsi jokingly stepped back to check if his shoes weren’t clipping the lines on his next serve.

Time Violation

The serving player only have 24 seconds in between points. Usually under extreme heat or after a length rally, umpire would start the serve clock later. Not for tsitsi, he was really slow for a few points, and eventually got a time violation. Then subsequently the 2nd one caused him his first serve.

Surprising Margaret Court next door

Rod Laver Arena and Margaret Court Arena are technically connected with the same building. On this very special day where the day session of Margaret Court Arena featured 2 women’s double semi finals and I guess at this point they didn’t mind people going in with or without tickets. But gosh, how lucky we were to watch Krejcikova (阿嬸)+ Siniakova (阿嬸個friend)and Aoyama (小儀)+ Shibahara! Doubles is a different sport, it’s okay if you have no advantage in physique. Look at Aoyama! Playing with her brain to look for loopholes and clear the ball not with power.

Thank you Australian Open! That was fun!
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