2011 AUSTRALIAN OPEN CHAMPIONSHIPS




At The Australian Open With Marcia Frost...

Monday, January 17th-
Main Draw, Day Two

At the 2010 US Open, I celebrated my 11th "At the Open with Marcia Frost" column. I also had the pleasure of covering Wimbledon in 2007. This week I get to make it three out of four Slams as I head to the Australian Open!

I couldn't possibly be more excited about stepping onto the grounds at Melbourne Park. I have heard nothing but wonderful things about Australia and Tourism Australia, Tourism Victoria and Southern Australia Tourism have helped me put together a great three week trip, despite Oprah's visit making everything more difficult than you can imagine. This will include two weeks of coverage at the first Grand Slam event of the year, as I look at the past, present and future college and junior players.

The Qualifying wasn't too kind to the former college players. Former Illini Ryler De Heart and Rajeev Ram both lost their first round matches. They were in the company of their former coach, though, as Craig Tiley -- the man who led Illinois to a perfect season and sweep of the NCAAs in 2003 is now the Tournament Director of the Australian Open. Also falling in the Qualies was past Vanderbilt player Bobby Reynolds; Izak Van der Merwe, who played for Old Dominion, and Julia Cohen, who played for multiple colleges.

Former Georgia Tech Yellow Jacket Irina Falconi did make it through the Qualifying and I look forward to catching her play, as well as John Isner & Travis Parrott (Georgia); Lisa Raymond (Florida); Michael Russell (Miami); Racquel Kops-Jones (California); Benjamin Becker (Baylor); Abigail Spears (UCLA); Somdev Devvarman (Virginia), Kevin Anderson (Illinois); Bob & Mike Bryan and Scott Lipsky (Stanford). And, of course, there will be a week of players to watch in the Junior Championships and some visits to players I watched grow up who have turned pro the last few years, like Christina McHale, Donald Young, Lauren Davis and Melanie Oudin.

My column at the US Open has surpassed a million hits during the tournament. Let's see if we can break that record Down Under! I take off tonight and won't arrive in Melbourne until Wednesday morning (16.5 hour flight, 16 hour time difference). Until then, keep your eye on the official Australian Open website for up to the minute scores.

Until Wednesday,
Marcia Frost







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