Bill Gates leads A-list at Australian Open final as Anthony Albanese tucks into a Magnum alongside girlfriend Jodie
- Australian Open final underway in Melbourne Park on Sunday
Celebrities, sports legends and public figures have some of the best seats in the house at Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne Park for the Australian Open men’s tennis final on Sunday night.
Divisive Serb Novak Djokovic took to the court hoping to add another Grand Slam to his name against Greek cult-hero Stefanos Tsitsipas.
In the stands were actress Rachel Griffiths, Microsoft founder Bill Gates, Aussie cricket legend Ricky Ponting and billionaire pub-baron Justin Hemmes with his model girlfriend Madeline Holtznagel.
Anthony Albanese was also courtside soaking up the at atmosphere Melbourne Park alongside partner Jodie Haydon.
The Australian Prime Minister was even seen grinning from ear-to-ear while enjoying a chocolate-covered Magnum ice cream moments before the action began.
Microsoft founder Bill Gates sported an Australian Open cap along with front row seats for the men’s final. The world’s sixth richest man is soaking up the sights Down Under, visiting the Australian Museum and the tennis at Melbourne Park on multiple days throughout the tournament
Didn’t get one for Jodi? The nation’s leader seemed to be enjoying the break from his busy work schedule, scoffing a Magnum ice cream while watching Novak Djokovic take on Stefanos Tsitsipas
Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and partner Jodi Haydon at the Australian Open men’s tennis final in Melbourne
Aussie cricket legend Ricky Ponting and his wife Rianna Jennifer Cantor watch on as Djokovic surged ahead in the first set
In addition to the championship, the winner will claim the No. 1 spot in the ATP rankings.
For the fourth-seeded Djokovic, it´s also a chance to win his 10th Australian Open title a year after he wasn´t allowed to compete at Melbourne Park because he was not vaccinated for COVID-19. A 22nd Grand Slam singles title would also tie the 35-year-old Serbian player with Rafael Nadal for the men´s record.
The third-seeded Tsitsipas is trying to become the first Greek player to win a Grand Slam singles title. In his only other major final, Tsitsipas won the first two sets against Djokovic but lost the match in five.
No pressure: Greek hero Stefanos Tsitsipas is hoping to win his first Grand Slam at the Melbourne event
Billionaire pub-baron Justin Hemmes, 50, and his model girlfriend Madeline Holtznagel, 26, soak up the atmosphere at Melbourne Park
Golden Globe winning Hollywood actor Rachel Griffiths, who was raised in Melbourne, looks on from courtside
In the women’s final played yesterday, by winning her maiden grand slam title, Aryna Sabalenka will equal her career-high ranking of world number two, but she will still be more than 4,000 points behind Swiatek.
The Pole’s consistency, as well as her titles at the French Open and US Open, put her miles ahead of the rest in 2022, but she has a lot of points to defend this year and could find herself reeled in.
It was not so much that Sabalenka triumphed at Melbourne Park but the manner of her 4-6 6-3 6-4 victory over Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina that impressed so much.
This was a contest of huge hitting but also control, with Sabalenka amassing nearly twice as many winners as unforced errors and crashing down 17 aces, many at crucial moments.
The 24-year-old has long been known as a big talent but has elevated herself to a different level by maturing emotionally and learning to maintain a positive mindset.
‘Everywhere’ Eddie McGuire lived up to his name with the TV personality and former Collingwood boss attending with his wife Carla McGuire
Novak Djokovic surged ahead to a quick lead in the first set before Tsitsipas clawed his way back in the second
Veteran showbusiness reporter Richard Wilkins, who has recently taken on the role of Network Entertainment Editor for Nine. The broadcaster poached the Australian Open coverage from the Seven Network
Novak Djokovic’s father has seemingly stayed away from the Australian Open final despite tournament director Craig Tiley giving him the green light to attend.
Srdjan Djokovic watched his son’s semi-final win over Tommy Paul off site to avoid becoming a disruption following the emergence of a video of him with Putin fans last Wednesday night.
Whether he would be back courtside as Djokovic bids to claim a 10th Open crown with victory over Stefanos Tsitsipas was a huge talking point in the lead-up to Sunday’s night’s title match.
Hours beforehand, Tiley revealed Djokovic’s father was free to attend Rod Laver Arena despite Russian flags, the Russian Eagle banner, Belarusian flags, and items of clothing with the Z symbol prohibited at Melbourne Park amid Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine.
Tiley said he believed that Djokovic’s father didn’t realise he was posing with people carrying Russian flags.
But the Serb did not take his usual place in the player’s box, his absence even more conspicuous by the vacant seat next to Djokovic’s mother Dijana.
Tiley accepted Srdjan Djokovic had inadvertently been swept up in the flags drama, insisting it was up to him to decide whether he would attend the final.
The team box for Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece, including his father, Apostolos Tsitsipas (bottom left) and former Australian player and Wimbledon and US Open finalist Mark Philopoussis (centre) watch as he plays Novak Djokovic during the men’s singles final
Premiership-winning NRL legend Robbie Farrah watches on as underdog Stefanos Tsitsipas tries for his first Australian Open title and first Grand Slam
Opposition leader Peter Dutton (right) and former federal treasurer Peter Costello (left) had seats for the minimum $600-a-ticket event
Djokovic supporters wave Serbian flags in the stands as the 35-year-old tries for his 10th Australian Open title
NBL owner and Executive Chairman Larry Kestelman and Anita Pahor look on, perhaps getting ideas to draw in more basketball fans to the league’s games
Tsitsipas fans weren’t be outdone with culturally-diverse Melbourne long considered the city with the largest Greek-speaking population outside Greece
Stefanos Tsitsipas’s stunning Australian Open form could have been inspired by the likes of Carlos Alcaraz and other young guns stealing his spotlight, according to John McEnroe.
The 24-year-old third seed will try again to claim his first Grand Slam title when he takes on nine-time champion Novak Djokovic in Melbourne on Sunday with victory also guaranteeing him top spot in the ATP rankings.
It looked only a matter of time before Tsitsipas landed a major when he reached the Australian Open semi-finals in 2019 but ending up as French Open runner-up in 2021 is as close as he has come.
Teenager Alcaraz jumped the queue last year by winning the U.S. Open and McEnroe believes it was a jolt for Greek Tsitsipas who struggled in the majors last year after reaching the Australian Open semi-final a year ago.
“Maybe he got a bit of a wake up call when Alcaraz won the Open and became world number one and he’s quite a few years younger,” McEnroe told Reuters in a news conference organised by broadcaster Eurosport.
Stefanos Tsitsipas, 24, is currently ranked higher at number four in the world than Djokovic who has slipped to number five
Federal Treasurer Jim Chalmers chats while his wife Laura Anderson checks her phone during the match
Djokovic is chasing his tenth Australian Open but Tsitsipas hopes to take home his first Grand Slam winner’s trophy
Rod Laver Arena was filled to capacity on Sunday night for the final with 14,820 attendees paying more than $500 a ticket
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