Australian Open: Female Lleyton, Trams in danger


Trams on alert, the female Lleyton Hewitt and a packed news conference were part of the show as the Australian Open started on Monday.

We look at some of the talking points to have come from Melbourne.



The main event had well and truly started, but the biggest crowds on the outside courts were drawn to practice early on the opening day. A decent gathering watched on as two players with one-handed backhands - a thing of beauty, right - in Stan Wawrinka and Tommy Robredo hit up.

The biggest crowd was nearby, however, as world number one Novak Djokovic enjoyed his scheduled practice, hitting with local Bernard Tomic in the warm weather.



The ATP and Tennis Integrity Unit (TIU) may have given about five minutes notice for their news conference regarding match-fixing allegations, but it proved to be standing room only as Chris Kermode, Nigel Willerton and Mark Young faced the media at Melbourne Park.

That, perhaps, the result of running 15 minutes late. 



Locals have warmed to Russia-born Australian Daria Gavrilova and they may even more so after her first-round win over Lucie Hradecka at Melbourne Park.

The 21-year-old, who combined with Nick Kyrgios to lead Australia Green to Hopman Cup glory, revealed an unexpected comparison. "I actually was told that I'm a female Lleyton Hewitt once by my friend. Yeah, I love watching him," she said about the retiring Australian great. No complaints, then.



Melbourne's famed trams may have been given an unpleasant surprise mid-afternoon. Sam Groth was unhappy about something after his practice session, or it is part of his routine, as he blasted a backhand out of Melbourne Park from court 11.

His mood seemed decent enough ahead of his first-round clash against Adrian Mannarino on Tuesday. The big-serving Australian was good enough to hang around and provide autographs for watching fans.