Photos: Melbourne warms up for the Australian Open

After a successful start into the first week of the new season, the tennis world is gearing up for the first Grand Slam of the new year: the Australian Open.

Held at Melbourne Park and dubbed “Grand Slam of Asia-Pacific”, the Australian Open is one of the region’s most important sporting events, attracting more than 700,000 fans each season. Spectators can look forward to seeing all the big names of tennis, as the Open is boasting a packed draw with Lucie Safarova being the only notable absent player this year.

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While many players are still busy fighting for points in Sydney and Hobart, many of them have already arrived in Melbourne, starting their preparation on the countless courts.

The women’s side of the qualifying draw will be dodging a major bullet on Wednesday, while men will have to start play under what will be very difficult conditions, with no less than 42 degrees of heat expected on Wednesday.

The women’s qualifying draw will start on Thursday and 96 players will begin their fight to make it into the first Grand Slam main draw of the new season.

Keep checking back to Women’s Tennis Blog for the next weeks as we’ll bring you all the action straight from Melbourne Park!

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