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The part Kenny show on news talk with Marter private network during current restrictions. Don't ignore your health concerns. Our expert team is ready to help. Let's go to Australia because restrictions in Victoria were finally lifted and spectators are allowed to return to the Australian Open in Melbourne for the rest of the tournament. Let's go courtside to Katharine Murphy of ABC News. Good morning to you, Catherine. How are you? Good morning, Jonathan, how are you? I'm good.


Lovely to talk to you. It's a bit weird, this Australian Open, isn't it? It is as weird as the tournament gets, I've just been to an event with some tournament directors who actually looked after qualifying for the Australian Open, so that had to go overseas for the first time. So they didn't want anyone except the main draw players having to turn up in Australia. They wanted to limit the numbers. So qualifying for the men's and women's events were held in Dubai and Doha.


And one of the qualifiers, Avan Karasek, who's just playing Novak Djokovic right now and losing. He had to go all the way to qualifying overseas, then come to Australia, do quarantine, do multiple tests, get out and play, then be told that after you finish quarantine, you have all these freedoms in Melbourne because the city is open and you can go out to restaurants, then make tournament. The city goes into lockdown and fans are banned.


So it couldn't get any more. What's the best word, Jonathan? Unique. Unprecedented is overused. I'm not going to use that word. Just weird.


Yeah, weird is probably about right. But how is Melbourne other than this? I mean, we'll get to the tennis in just a minute.


But can people when you say there are people there, are the stands packed or is it kind of one person every five yards?


So not packed at all, Jonathan, it's all really strict social distancing. I'm standing outside Rod Laver Arena now where the men's semi-final is going on and there are people going around guarding the square, which used to be packed with people drinking beer, watching the big screen, and they are just cleaning everything, cleaning every rail. The level of sanitization is massive.


Also, crowds have been restricted. So at the beginning of the tournament, there was going to be 30000 people per day admitted to Melbourne Park, which is a huge area at the beginning of the tournament of matches across many courts. Now we've had one or two big courts going and it's just 7000 in the day session and 7000 in the night session and really spread out. And because the tournament was in limbo until yesterday afternoon, Jonathan, where we heard we were coming out of what they're calling is a snap, five day lockdown, but they didn't confirm exactly how many people can come to the tennis.


So as a tennis fan, you wouldn't feel like booking because you don't know strictly if it's possible. So there will be a lot of people who booked their tickets last minute.


OK, well, let's talk about the actual court activity for a bit. Serena Williams, I mean, she was pretty upset at being knocked out by the Asaka. She was indeed, Jonathan.


It was a really dominant performance from male music and so impressive from Osaka because she was adamant that she knows she's playing a legend. Her idol, she gets really nervous. You could see it in the first two games. There was a lot of double faults, a lot of unforced errors from Osaka. She went to live down, but once she got through the initial nerves, she never looked back in the press conference after. It was a big shock for you because we all gathered to hear from Serena and around seven questions and she started crying and had to leave.


And we waited around to see if she would come back in and she said that she wouldn't be coming back in. And that's because she was asked a question about at the end of her match, Jonathan, she put her hand on her heart and she looked up to the crowd and she dwelled on the crowd and it started to look like a farewell. And then the press conference, she said, I wouldn't tell you if it was a farewell. So now we know a bit about maybe the way she wants to retire, that she doesn't want the farewell lap, that she wants it to be a private thing.


We know she's good at keeping secrets because the last time she won the Australian Open in twenty seventeen, she was pregnant with her daughter and nobody knew. Right, OK, on the men's side of it, look as if it's just going to flow through everybody, I presume, and go on to win. Do we just cut it off now?


I agree with you. I keep hearing about the changing of the guard and we saw Dominic's team winning the US Open, but that was in the absence of the big three because Nadal didn't travel, Federer didn't travel, and of course, Djokovic was disqualified. So team won without the big three there at this event we've seen since the past the Greek Stephanus, it's a pass beat Rafael Nadal, but he beat Federer two years ago. And it was a huge shock, I would expect to Novak Djokovic to go on to win another slam.


And Jonathan, that would bring him up to number 18. Rafa and Roger are on 20. You would think that Rafa will win the French Open. I'm getting ahead of the year already. But it's a really fascinating race to be the the all time winner of Grand Slams. It's incredible that they're all playing at the same time.


Well, look, it is. But, you know, better do blood wouldn't go astray. Catherine Murphy, courtside at the Australian Open. Stay safe, Catherine. Thanks very much for joining us. Jonathan Harley of Rapacity.