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The Falconi Files, Episode I: The “Full Out” Oz Experience

Welcome to The Falconi Files, home to a column run by former World No. 73 and American blogger extraordinaire, Irina Falconi. Best known for her sensational run to the third round of the 2011 US Open, Falconi was hard at work last fall; she captured a $50,000 ITF event in New Braunfels, Texas, en route to earning the coveted USTA reciprocal Australian Open wildcard. Opening against Estonia’s Kaia Kanepi (with No. 13 seed Andrea Petkovic looming), the American is putting the “wild” in “wildcard;” read on for details on Irina’s Australian Summer!


Photo: Christopher Levy

Photo: Christopher Levy

Hello everyone!!

It’s only been, like, a year since y’all had some “Irina Aussie Blogging” in your life.

Can you believe it’s that time again? Can you believe you’re going to lose valuable hours of sleep so you can watch the best play in the land Down Under?!

That time change is a beautiful thing.

Well, I’m currently writing you from the new player lounge here at Aussie Open. Let me tell you a little bit about this player lounge. First off, the door has this amazing mural artwork thing that works with depth and vortex – all that jazz – it makes you feel like you’re in a 3D painting. So you walk in, and what do you find?


…Couches upon couches upon chairs and lounge chairs.

Pretty chill, not going to lie.

Now, the best part about the Oz is not that you’re getting $2,500 bucks just for showing up – though that is an immense help with your travel expenses. It’s not that you get to be driven around anywhere you like by the best Grand Slam transportation ever.

No, it’s none of that, ladies and gentlemen. The best thing about the 2015 Aussie Open is the chairs – massage chairs, that is. The amazing Craig Tiley, tournament director here in Australia, has upped his game in the Grand Slam playing field by adding three magnificent massage chairs that need to have a sign up sheet for them because I may or may not know two young men that choose to lounge in them for hours on end.

Photo: Christopher Levy

Photo: Christopher Levy

ANYWAY! Let’s talk more about all the improvements! There is, you know, that whole construction thing that they did. Oz Open has rejuvenated Rod Laver along with Margaret Court, to make it an absolutely stunning tennispiece that has to be admired while you’re walking to the show courts.

Since tennis players really enjoy food, they have even extended the cafe to give us even MORE room to eat even MORE food. I’ve heard that the sushi is amazing. Speaking of food, we have the usual sandwich making station, the hot food bar, the pasta bar, the juice bar.

We have a lot of bars.

But speaking of bars…there was an open bar last night at the player party. Now don’t worry, I was good – I kicked off my 2015 Oz Open Player Party with club soda and a splash of cranberry. The player party was at this awesome club/lounge/restaurant called Ms Collins, right in the heart of Melbourne. It was absolutely brilliant! They had a photo booth so you can’t really go wrong.

Oh, I almost forgot! Before the party, I totally went all out – as in full hair and makeup for the party. It was serious stuff. But not only was I going all out for the party, but I also had this amazing ESPN photo shoot where they actually had a FAN blowing on my hair!

I literally felt like I was in one of those L’oreal commercials! Totally worth it.

So here we are gang, once again; the Oz Open starts off the year with some great tennis and some crazy good historic moments. I’m off to have a great dinner by Flinders Station with my amazing housing family that has put up with me for a solid FIVE years!!! Here’s to another 10!

PS: If you have any questions, shoot them at me! I’ll try and answer as many as I can in my next blog!!!

Thanks for reading and stay classy.

Don’t forget to like Irina on Facebook and follow her on Twitter, @IrinaFalconi!

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  1. The Falconi Files, Episode II: #ballin on Show Court 2 | The Tennis Island

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