He may have slipped from his place among the very upper reaches of the game, yet Melbourne Park is a place where tennis legend Roger Federer continues to thrive.
And it’s because of this that you would want him representing your town at Australian Open 2014 as part of the inaugural AO Blitz.
The Swiss sensation, currently ranked No.7, finds himself in somewhat unfamiliar territory. We’re used to seeing Federer at, or at least very near, the top of the game. When he slipped to No.5 in July following a second round exit at Wimbledon, it marked the first time in more than a decade that he had not ranked within the top four. Yes, you read that correctly.
But although Federer’s season has been notable for similar early exits and some uncharacteristic losses to lower-ranked opposition, this was not the case in Australia in January. The 32-year-old was at his fluid best as he dissected his way through the draw, ultimately falling in five tense sets to Andy Murray in the semifinals. It marked the 10th-straight year he had reached at least the final four in Melbourne.
Considering such an impressive record, how could you get Federer playing for your town at Australian Open 2014?
It’s easy – the more points you earn by completing challenges, the more points you earn for your nominated town. And the higher your town finishes on the leader-board, the more chance it will have of being represented by a highly seeded player. The top two towns on the leader-board will flip a coin to see which one scores the top-seeded male player, or the top-seeded female.
Your town could be associated with Federer at Australian Open 2014; giant information screens around Melbourne Park, plus scheduling signage, would feature his name, nationality and the Australian town he’s ‘playing for’.
It’s a pretty exciting concept, especially when you consider the prizes on offer. If your representative player wins the men’s or women’s Australian Open singles title, your town will be treated to an AO Blitz party for the entire community, and a whole host of other prizes.
Even at this stage of his career, you’d expect Federer to be a fighting chance to claim the honours in 2014.
That’s because in addition to his incredible Australian Open record, Federer’s career statistics are mind-boggling. No player has won more major titles, or spent more weeks at No.1. Few – if any – possess the repertoire of shot that have made Federer widely considered as something of a wizard with the racquet. And with a history of rebounding from disappointments and confounding the critics, there’s no reason he can’t once again rise to stratospheric heights at Melbourne Park in three months time.
Arguably the world’s most popular player, the Swiss will have enormous crowd support when he embarks on his upcoming Australian Open campaign.
And by registering for the AO Blitz and completing as many challenges as you can, you'll increase your chances of having him ride that wave of support to victory for your town at Australian Open 2014.