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Ball kids Olivia O'Meara Dylan Colaci

Olivia O'Meara and Dylan Colaci were the top ball kids at Australian Open 2013.

Colaci became something of a YouTube sensation a year earlier when he made a fantastic catch on Rod Laver Arena during the Roger Federer-Rafael Nadal semifinal of 2012.

As a reward for their efforts, the pair got to travel to the recent ATP/WTA China Open in Beijing, working as ball kids at the star-studded event, meeting the Chinese ball kids that will join the AO squad in 2014, and touring the Chinese capital to soak up some history and culture.

You can read about their experiences in their blogs below.

 

Dylan Colaci

Fri 27 Sept

Friday night was an incredible experience, the stadium was breath taking and the atmosphere was amazing. All the Chinese kids and staff were very friendly and it was a new experience being in a room with 2 other languages! The Chinese ballkids were surprisingly better than I thought as well as the French ballkids. The Chinese kids had some new strategies that I thought worked well and I'm looking forward to working more with them! 

Sat 28 Sept

On Saturday, we were able to communicate with the other Chinese ballkids and spend more time on court. 

Sun 29 Sept

From the giant pot of plants to the Chinese acrobats, the whole day was an incredible experience. Through every individual house came something new in the Forbidden City. The whole place was a new adventure and something that I can hold onto as a special memory for ever. The food we ate was amazing! It was all something new and every plate was better than any Chinese food I'd had before. The Chinese acrobats were jaw dropping amazing! Every minute brought an unexpected turn of events and is so far the most remarkable moment of the trip. 

Mon 30 Sept

Today we spent another day on the Diamond Court [the China Open's 15,000-seat centre court] and it was such a good feeling to see some familiar Aussie faces in Lleyton Hewitt and Bernard Tomic. The night session was a good experience as the atmosphere, mainly for the men's match, was memorable. I worked as a net kid for the day and it was good to be back!

 

Olivia O’Meara

Fri 27 Sept

The exhibition match on Friday night [between Li Na and Novak Djokovic] was something like I had never experienced before. The atmosphere was crazy and everyone was so excited. All of the Chinese Ballkids and staff are lovely and helpful. The match was very funny and I liked how they had the top 2 players playing against the juniors. I had a lot of fun on our first night.

Sat 28 Sept

The next day was just as good. The Diamond Court is huge. I like how most of the Chinese are very good at speaking English which makes it a lot easier to communicate with them.

Sun 29 Sept

I had a lot of fun on the day we went to Tiananmen Square and Forbidden City. I had never been to anything like that before so it was a good experience for me. It was weird to think that the place we were in was once where the Emperor lived. It was very interesting to walk through and see how everything used to be years ago. After that we went and had lunch. Once we had lunch we went to a museum which we learnt all about the wife of the first president of China. I thought that was very interesting and I really enjoyed it. We then went and had dinner then straight after that we went to an acrobatic show. That was incredible and I seriously could not believe everything that they could do. It was probably one of the most amazing things I have seen in my life. All up, I had an amazing day.

Mon 30 Sept

Today I was on Diamond Court for the night and day matches. We were extremely lucky to have two Australian tennis players which were Tomic and Hewitt. It was very good to finally be on court with the Aussies and the night match was a very good experience as the atmosphere was crazy. 

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