After going to bed at 1am, Cheryl and I got up just after 4am on Tuesday morning and headed off to the tournament, getting there at 6. We waited in line for about 4 hours before getting in with Court 2 seats (for £25). We wandered around for a while until the matches started and we started off watching Wayne Arthurs play on Court 17. It was a cool atmosphere - a really small area of seating but a lot of Australians there to support Wayne. There was one French guy sitting amongst us who was there to support the opposition (Fabrizio (?) Santoro) and kept clapping and yelling "ALLEZ FAB!!" and then looking at all of us with shifty embarrased looks. Haha.
Early in the 2nd set we went off to Court 2, with the plan to watch the end of the Hingis match, but it was already finished and as we were walking to our seating entrance Mark Philippoussis was being led through the crowd and in the player's entrance. So we got to our seats just as they started warming up. It was an awesome match to see!!!! The first set was a little bit stressful - it was pretty close but Mathieu ended up winning. But then the next 3 sets were great because they were still all quite close (especially the 4th, which ended the match in a long and close tie-breaker) but Mark was victorious. We had amazing seats, in the second row along the side of the court and Mark's seat was just a bit to the right of us. Apparently we got on the Australian tv coverage twice during the match, which I won't be able to see til I get back to Australia, but that's pretty cool! I didn't see any of the Philippoussis camp there - there was no special player's box and I couldn't spot his dad or fiance anywhere in the crowd (I saw a girl who came in late in the match and sat on the other side of the court, who looked and acted a little bit like her but it wasn't). My dad said they didn't cut to any shots of them during the match, which they usually do, so I doubt they were sitting there watching.
After Marks' match finished we went for a walk to see the rest of the grounds, get the traditional strawberries & cream, and take photos. It was really cool to be there after seeing it so often of tv. Everything is smaller, like, the courts look so big on tv but not so much in real life when you're there. It was a crazy long day but I'm SO glad we went! Definitely a great experience to have had, especially being able to see Mark win a match at the tournament since, unfortunately, he lost in the next round so is out for this year. :(