Finally! After a month trying to survive the vacuum on mince pies and sherry, the tennis season is finally back, like every year, opening up in the austral sunshine of Melbourne. A grand slam that will be, for you,...

Finally! After a month trying to survive the vacuum on mince pies and sherry, the tennis season is finally back, like every year, opening up in the austral sunshine of Melbourne. A grand slam that will be, for you, synonymous with woollen gloves and sleepless nights.

… Finally, the new season in upon us. We, then, shall follow suit and start over. But without Nadal this year, still in the process of divorcing his knee. …You see pictures of players proudly posing alongside a kangaroo. ... You remember Mark Philippoussis’ serve, Rafter’s volley and Hewitt’s strength. …You have fond memories of Pat Cash (finalist in 1987 and 1988) and his charming bandana… …You have a burgeoning belly, your arm is made of brandy butter and you sweat sherry. … Every observer is searching for the elusive successor to Lleyton Hewitt… …a trail that leads them to Bernard Tomic, of whom you will hear the tennis tales for the first – and last – time this season… …You’ll hear over and over again, as for the last 37 years, that the last Australian to take the crown is none other than Mark Edmondson. … To be completely honest, the last stroke of local genius in a final dates back to last January and the incredible reflexes of a ball boy on a volley of Roger Federer during his lost final against Djokovic. [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c35BhzyDH2E[/youtube] … Serbian and Croatian supporters exchange pleasantries. … Guys walk around with ice packs at each change of side. … Yet for you, tennis in January means long johns, fleeces, gloves and wool hat … … Even after 15 laps, you still can’t warm up. … You just play forehands so as to keep your glove on the other hand… … And you’ve never understood why it was colder playing the indoor courts rather than outside! … In Melbourne, it’s so hot that they had to put a roof on the Rod Laver Arena to protect it from the heat. … Ice cubes melt over only one rally; Australian ladies raise the temperature in the stands; player’s soles stick to the Plexicushion, and their faces are covered in sunscreen, Rafter-style. … Seeing the audience sweating like stuck pigs makes you feel better about wearing Moon Boots. ... Robin Söderling is still not done with his mononucleosis. Seriously!? …You’re going to get up in the middle of the night to watch matches. …You do it, just in case a British player goes crazy and decides to go far in the tournament… … Even if the last time it happened was almost 80 years ago! …The number of Swedish fans who spent – minimum – 1300 pounds to pay for their plane tickets makes you realize that the economic crisis isn’t the same for everybody. …You find out that Sydney isn’t the capital of Australia. And neither is Melbourne. By Jérémy Francisco and Charles Michel