I'm a freelance writer living in the northern suburbs of Brisbane. I study creative writing and film and tv.
If you love tennis as much as I do, then you will be delighted to hear that the 2012 tennis season has just kicked off, and in our fair city no less. The Brisbane International is the first event of the season and a number of the top players are here to compete in what just might be the best line-up yet. On the men's side there is world number four, Andy Murray, 2009 champion, Radek Stepanek, the young, up and coming Ukrainian, Alexandr Dolgopolov, and of course Aussie favourite, Bernard Tomic. On the women's side there is a wealth of talent, including four former world number ones, Serena Williams, Kim Clijsters, Jelena Jankovic, and Ana Ivonovic, and Australia's darling and winner of The 2011 US Open, Sam Stosur.
So chuck on a hat and some sunscreen and come on down to Tennyson for the Brisbane International. It's a fun day out for the whole family and it's only as expensive as you choose it to be, with a range of different options. The cheapest option, the ground pass, is $14.90 which gets you into every court, except Pat Rafter Arena (Centre Court). Generally the big names all play on Pat Rafter Arena, however, that doesn't mean there's nothing to see or do on the rest of the grounds. You can watch the matches with up and coming youngsters or just go and support the fellow Aussies. There is also a ton of things for the kids to do.
The Kids Zone is where it's at. There is a whole bunch of awesome activities for the children here.
There is a serve tent, where kids (and adults, if they choose) can pick up a racquet and try to get the fastest serve they can.
There is a dive volley tent, equipped with a big mat so that the kids can practise dive volleys without the fear of getting hurt.
There are mini tennis courts with junior racquets for the youngsters just learning the ropes.
Finally, there is a nice shaded sitting area, with a view of the big screen in case you're on the grounds but really want to watch what's going on in Pat Rafter Arena.
The Brisbane International is fun, entertaining, and excellent value. If you love tennis there is really no other place to be. Watching the Australian Open on TV is fine, because it's in Melbourne, but this is in your city, so get off your bum, come down to the Brisbane International and have an awesome time.