We’re here to see Stephanie Dubois lose. It isn’t nice, but we’re still bitter about Vesnina. Angelique Kerber stands strong, her thighs rippling, her blonde hair twisted into a tight bun. It doesn’t take a world traveller to guess her nationality. Her team yell encouragement at her in harsh German and she responds just as loudly. Dubois plays more aggressively than in her first round, but the match is still on Kerber’s racket. She takes it in straights, not without a struggle. She screams, pumps her fist, and finally allows herself a smile.
I expect some pretty poor tennis when we head over to Marcel Granollers and Frederico Gil - they’re not exactly household names. But Gil surprises me. He hits a strong backhand and moves well. There’s a big crowd, which is credit to how busy the Open is today. Our seats are quickly taken when we move on.
The difference between Asian and Australian culture is as exposed by the Westerners’ bronzed bodies when we take to Court 8. The fans of Japanese player Tatsuma Ito cover their arms, legs, and faces as they shield themselves from the harsh sun. The rest of us slather on sunscreen and hope it won’t halt our tan. I know whose idea of beauty is safer. Ito is fighting hard, but cult favourite Nicolas Mahut is starting to pull ahead. He will eventually seal a place in the next round against Novak Djokovic.