I am pretty certain I teared up as I made my final walk from my hotel on Little Collins, down Exhibition Street, across Flinders Street toward Melbourne Park.
I skipped the men's doubles final and had one more long walk around the grounds. After 13 days here I felt I knew every inch of the grounds and could probably give tours! :)
One fun part about the day of the men's final is that all the sponsors just give away all their freebies as they need to get rid of them. I got heaps of the little ANZ fans, lots of Imperial Leather products and various bits and pieces. I wish on the last day of the tourney they would put some of the AO merchandise on sale, but I know they make a heap of money selling them online afterward.
So onto the final - how in the world would Andy Murray do in his second Aussie Open final? I was there in 2010 when he lost to Fed and was pretty emotional afterward. I hoped his third final would settle him down a bit and give us a great final. But, Nole was too good and despite a lot of crowd support Andy just, well, stunk. It was hugely disappointing and as much as I like Nole deep down I was hoping Andy could win just to get him over that hump. But Nole is playing too well and he chased down everything Andy sent him and made some ridiculous gets.
One such point created this expression from Nole:
Sad for Andy but he needs a coach, or some mood relaxers, I don't know. He's still young but he should be in his prime now and he has the tools to win a slam but not the temperament or mental toughness at the moment. Here's hoping.
Nole said he kept his reaction tame in respect to his good mate Andy, but I thought his stripshow after the net embrace was pretty funny. He took everything off bar his shorts and gave them to the crowd. Even his shoes! Such a great reaction by the crowds - the Serbian fans were very vocal and added a lot of atmosphere which I really enjoyed.
As I left the arena there were some huge celebrations going on and the excited Serbians kept chanting and it provided the perfect environment for our exit out of Melbourne Park.
So I made my final walk out of the gate and past the former champ displays. It was an unbelievable 13 days of tennis and I just can't believe I was able to do it. Thanks Melbourne, you never disappoint.