Day one at the Australian Open saw a quite staggering repertoire of crazed, eccentric and just downright silly celebrations.
Roger Federer was not on court for long enough to allow himself to indulge in even a regulation fist-pump, but pretty much every other player marked the Oz Open's first day with a contender for the competition's top celebratory routine.
If the persistent and relentless roars from court two were anything to go by, then Lukasz Kubot's thrilling five-set win over the 18th seeded Sam Querrey was the match to watch, and that was after the epic rallies had finally abated.
Kubot received vociferous support from a group of Poles at one end of the court, who spurred their man on to an 8-6 triumph over the American in the final set, and he promptly produced a post-match celebration of real distinction.
The 28-year-old (pictured, below) left the entire crowd bewildered with a can-can dance which lacked nothing in over-zealous endeavour and rendered Querrey more shell-shocked than he had been upon his defeat.
Ironically, Kubot's rather camp dance was in stark contrast to the ultra-butch gladiatorial celebration produced by Francesca Schiavone (pictured, below), who roared to the heavens after a relatively routine, albeit three-set, win over Arantxa Parra Santonja.
Gael Monfils spent most of his five-set match with Thiemo De Bakker of the Netherlands gesticulating wildly towards his camp, who he both bemused and infuriated with two-and-a-half sets of lethargic nonsense before staging a stunning comeback. The Frenchman's deranged and very vocal ecstasy after clinching victory was one of the less palatable, PG-rated celebrations (pictured, below).
Meanwhile, it was not entirely clear whether Juan Monaco (who sported a retro 70s lurid green headband with accompanying mullet and sweatbands) felt that his straight-sets win over Simon Greul was gruelling enough to warrant a keel-over-in-delirium celebration normally befitting a Grand Slam winner, or whether he simply lost his balance...
Regina Kulikova's penchant for noting the margin of her victories with her hands is now a customary gesture between her and her coach Rolf Buehler. On this occasion (pictured, below), it was a slender 9-7 win in the final set against Daniela Hantuchova.
But spare a thought, for every jubilant celebration there is an inconsolable wreck on the other side of the net. This was all that was left amidst the carnage following Ryan Harrison's abject straight-sets defeat to Adrian Mannarino (pictured, below). Russian monk Nikolay Davydenko would have been similarly dejected after his two-week hotel booking was rendered pointless, thanks to a four-set loss to German Florian Mayer.
TWEET OF THE DAY: "Sitting outside of lounge, trying to relax before match, but there's a band playing trumpets messing my cool. Luckly my iPod is louder than all of them!" (Ivo Karlovic is not a fan of trumpets, bands, or anyone messing with his cool - perhaps the dubiously attired trio (pictured, below) were the culprits?
WEATHER WATCH: Jet-black sunglasses were the order of the day in Melbourne with only fleeting showers, but two individuals in particular deemed it necessary to wear their transparent bin liner for the entirety of the day... just in case.
QUOTE OF THE DAY: "I know Thiemo (de Bakker) a bit. I know that sometimes he snaps in the head... it's a real weakness for him and so you play with that and make sure. When he snaps, you can win!" (Monfils reveals the key to beating the Dutchman - just wait for the snap.)
DAY TWO - UPSET WATCH: Third seed Kim Clijsters may well be many people's favourite for the Melbourne crown, but Russia's Dinara Safina can never be discounted and could just spring a surprise in the first match on the Rod Laver Arena.
BEST MATCH WATCH: David Nalbandian against Lleyton Hewitt has five sets written all over it. Remember that four-hour-and-five-minute epic in 2005 that eventually finished 10-8 in the fifth? Ok, neither player is what they were back then but, with the home fans set to get behind the Australian baseline terrier and Nalbandian never one to give up, it could be quite a thriller: again, the Rod Laver Arena is the place to be on day two.
Follow Tramlines at the Australian Open on Twitter: https://twitter.com/#!/TramlinesTennis
- Sam Querrey
- Roger Federer