The Australian Open Is Hitting The Road

Hon. Steve Dimopoulos, Minister for Tourism, Sport and Major Events and John Fitzgerald, former Australian Davis Cup captain and Grand Slam doubles champion with the Norman Brookes Challenge Cup and the Daphne Ackhurst Memorial Cup (photo: Tennis Australia/Fiona Hamilton)

Tennis Australia Press Release, October 8, 2022

As we begin the 100-day countdown to Australian Open 2023, Victorians are set to get a taste of the Grand Slam as the magnificent trophies hit the road on a tour that will visit more than 20 communities across the state as part of AO on the Road.

The popular tour will see the spectacular Norman Brookes Challenge Cup and Daphne Akhurst Memorial Cup crisscross Victoria, taking in the Goldfields, Gippsland, Macedon Ranges and Daylesford, Geelong and the Bellarine and the Murray.

“AO on the Road is a wonderful initiative because it creates a tangible connection for people across Victoria to the amazing event that is the Australian Open,” Australian tennis champion and former Davis Cup captain John Fitzgerald said.   “Having travelled to many towns as part of AO on the Road myself, I’ve experienced how special it is to be able to bring these magnificent and historic trophies to country Victoria.  It’s also a great opportunity to showcase our fantastic regional tennis communities and the tremendous work so many are doing to get more people of all ages involved in tennis.”

AO on the Road is supported by the state government through Visit Victoria and was launched on the banks of the Yarra River today by the Minister for Tourism, Sport and Major Events, the Hon Steve Dimopoulos MP.

“Victoria is the proud home of the best Grand Slam in the world and to mark 100 days to go we’re making sure locals get the chance to experience a taste of the event through the trophy tour before we take it to the world stage,” the Hon Steve Dimopoulos MP said.

“The Australian Open will be the first of many amazing major events in Melbourne in 2023, attracting thousands of visitors to the region, supporting local businesses and jobs.”

Bendigo is the first official stop for AO on the Road on Saturday 15 October. The trophies will be part of the 75th anniversary celebrations for the Bendigo Tennis Association, and some of the best regional players from around the state will be in competition for the Inter-academy Challenge.

Players and members of the community will have the chance to pose with the silverware, affectionately known as Norm and Daphne, like so many AO champions have before them. The trophies will also visit some of the region’s iconic landmarks including the Central Deborah Goldmine, the Bendigo Art Gallery and the Capital Theatre.

Tennis legends including Todd Woodbridge and John Fitzgerald will make special appearances along the way, meeting fans, visiting local tennis clubs and checking out some of Victoria’s unique landmarks.

Just as the best of Victoria will be showcased at the Australian Open through the impressive program of local chefs, restaurants, performers and artists, the spectacular trophies will bring some of the prestige and excitement of the tournament to towns and landmarks across the state.