Australian Open 2014's 'AO Blitz' promotion has seen a tennis dream come true for a woman from the small Australian town of Kendall, New South Wales.
Kendall won the overall promotion – an interactive online competition that invited individuals, schools and tennis clubs to take on a series of challenges and win prizes, including a Kia Sportage 2WD vehicle.
The participants earned points for taking challenges, which were then awarded to their nominated town. The towns that earned the most points are now being represented by one of the world’s top tennis players at Australian Open 2014. At the end of the tournament the towns represented by the tournament winners will win further prizes.
The win for Kendall saw their town representative, Wendy Hudson travel to Melbourne and fulfil a dream at Melbourne Park.
Hudson worked tirelessly over the entire four-month AO Blitz period to top the town leaderboard, culminating in the opportunity of a lifetime: meeting Nadal in the lead-up to the tournament on centre court.
"You have no idea how much this means to me," Hudson said as she walked out onto Rod Laver Arena to meet World No. 1 Rafael Nadal.
As part of their duties as official town reps, Hudson along with Port Macquarie town Mayor Peter Besseling witnessed the Australian Open official tournament draw unfold, which produced a first-round match against Bernard Tomic for the Spanish star.
Tomic will be supported throughout the tournament by the AO Blitz town of Gawler, South Australia.
Town representatives from Parkes and Cooroy also met the players representing their towns - defending Australian Open champions Novak Djokovic and Victoria Azarenka respectively.
"I'm speechless, this is amazing," said Helen Magill after meeting Djokovic backstage at the draw.
The No.2 ranked AO Blitz town, Cooroy in Queensland, will be right behind women’s top seed Serena Williams when she meets rising Aussie star Ashleigh Barty, who will be cheered on by Docklands, Victoria at this year’s event.
Each of the 256 players in the men’s & women’s singles draws are representing an Australian town during the tournament. The full list of towns & their player representatives can be viewed here.
You can also watch the full Australian Open 2014 official tournament draw replay.