Daniel Andrews hands over the invitation to tour Melbourne Park


At least the Open organizers expect the Prime Minister Anton Albanese show up sometime. All is not lost if Andrews avoids the tour.


Open Season can confirm the tennis icon Billie Jean King has arrived in Melbourne for the Open and is expected to be at Melbourne Park in the coming days.

She will be joined by the Original 9, a group of elite athletes, on Thursday as they headline the Open’s “inspirational lunch”. In the past lunch was hosted by Rebel Wilson, Anna Wintour and Julia Gilard.

Women’s rights activist from Saudi Arabia Manal al Sharif, known for her work in the Right to Drive campaign, graces Thursday lunch. Al-Sharif was selected as one of them in 2012 ZEIT magazineThe 100 most influential people.

Sources have told Open Season some were hoping sir Elton-John would make a trip south to see his friend King – the two are notoriously close buddies – but given his northern tour schedule, those hopes are dwindling. Zac Efron is also on the wish list to drop by, sources say.

Organizers are still hoping Sir Elton can perform at the Open.

Organizers are still hoping Sir Elton can perform at the Open.Credit:AP


An overcast sky and a chilly 14 degrees were no deterrent for those who turned up for a breakfast thrown by official sunscreen partner Bondi Sands late last week.

Influencers were in force for the event in the Australian Open’s tennis club enclave hosted by Melbourne’s skincare and tanning product (Port Melbourne Sands clearly didn’t have the same marketing appeal).

Lleyton Hewitt performs for Bondi Sands.

Lleyton Hewitt performs for Bondi Sands.Credit:Glenn Hunt

When Bondi Sands co-founder and CEO Blair James interviewed star of the show and BS ambassador Lleyton Hewittthey immediately pulled out their phones to record the moment for Instagram and TikTok, and turned the social into the celebrity.

Open season spotted Olivia Molly Rogersstylist Paul Versace and former bachelor Sam woodwho were apparently heavy users of the Bondi Sands self-tanning range.

Later, guests headed to the mini-tennis court to bat with the two-time Grand Slam champion.

Hewitt’s reinvention from junior superbrat to thoughtful commentator, inspirational Davis Cup captain and proud father was for all to see as he shared his son’s tennis progress with James Cruz, 14. “He is fine at the moment. He shot up… he is almost as tall as me now.”

Cruz, also a BS ambassador, sent his apology. He scored a wildcard entry at the Australian Open juniors and played in the under-18 team at Traralgon.

“It’s a big step up for him,” Hewitt said.

Too big, unfortunately.

Hewitt jnr lost to the top seeded American in the first round Adhithya Ganesanwho ranks 603 places above him.

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Ryan Sederquist

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