Celebrity Match with Maria Thattil

Media persona, writer and former Miss Universe Australia Maria Thattil shares her favorite tennis recollections in our Movie star Match sequence.

Melbourne, Australia, 12 July 2023 | Leigh Rogers

Maria Thattil was topped Miss Universe Australia in 2020.

She is now an envoy, activist, presenter and a preferred media persona, who has appeared on The Challenge and I’m A Movie star … Get Me Out of Right here!

Earlier this 12 months, Thattil launched her first e-book, Unbounded: Manifesting a life without limits. The e-book explores the complexities of race, sexuality, gender, and identification.

In our Movie star Match sequence, Thattil shares her early tennis recollections and divulges her most memorable Australian Open experiences …

Inform us about your tennis expertise. Have you ever performed earlier than?

I’ve hit a few balls over the online in my major college days and look – my profession was wanting promising till sooner or later after I copped a tennis ball to the face and abruptly stop! I did love the sport although. I’ve been serious about selecting up a racquet once more for enjoyable!

Do you bear in mind what your greatest shot was whenever you performed?

I haven’t performed something notable, though I did discover myself concerned because the umpire on the Australian Open’s Glam Slam this 12 months. My greatest ‘shot’ was throwing to the spectators to gauge what they thought was taking place within the sport as a result of honestly, I’m a novice!

Maria Thattil within the umpire chair throughout the Glam Slam movie star match at Australian Open 2023.

What’s your earliest tennis reminiscence?

Being about 10 or 11 years previous on a Saturday morning, waking up early, donning a tennis skirt and cap and going to the native courts for classes with my brother. I nonetheless bear in mind the nice and cozy rust color of the floor and the way heat my coach was. As a child who was extra academically inclined and most popular a classroom, tennis was the one sport I genuinely loved.

Do you have got a favorite tennis reminiscence?

My favorite tennis reminiscence was in 2021, I used to be the Piper-Heidsieck ambassador for the Australian Open that 12 months and was given the chance to look at an unimaginable match from seats proper on the court docket. I bear in mind watching Novak Djokovic play towards Jeremy Chardy and it was completely electrical! We had been handled to an unimaginable expertise in The Dressing Room too, the place we met different tennis followers and bonded over our love of the sport.

Do you bear in mind the primary skilled match you noticed stay? Who performed?

My first stay match was in 2016, however I’d should say the primary skilled match I watched stay that actually stands out for me was the Djokovic and Chardy sport in 2021, purely due to the unimaginable views from seats on the court docket. I imply, who will get to try this!?

Maria Thattil within the Piper-Heidsieck on-court seats at Rod Laver Area.

Who’s your favorite tennis participant to look at and why?

It must be Nick Kyrgios, he’s fairly entertaining to look at! Ash Barty is my different favorite and despite the fact that she has retired, does she even want a proof for why she is pleasant to look at? Residing legend.

Should you may meet any tennis participant, who would it not be and why?

I’ve already met them – Jelena Dokic. Jelena is a famous person of the sport and I had the privilege of befriending her within the hair and make-up room at Channel 9 one wonderful afternoon late final 12 months, earlier than we each went on to do segments with The As we speak Present. Her legend precedes her and I’ve all the time been in awe of her, not simply due to her achievements on the court docket, however due to her tenacity, resilience and coronary heart. I used to be so grateful to truly join along with her correctly and get to know her spirit – and now I name her a pal.

What was your private spotlight in being concerned in AO Delight Day at this 12 months’s Australian Open?

Aside from being there because the comedian aid (as a result of let’s be sincere, I don’t have a future in umpiring), a private spotlight from being concerned in AO Delight Day at this 12 months’s Australian Open was sharing the expertise with so many different champions for inclusivity, variety and our LGBTQIA+ group. As somebody who has been publicly out since 2022, I felt honoured to be within the presence of individuals I not solely look as much as, however share values with.

Why is it essential to see main occasions such because the Australian Open selling satisfaction?

It is very important see main occasions just like the Australian Open selling satisfaction as a result of sports activities are for everybody – so it must actively be promoted as inclusive to and accessible for everybody. We live by way of a time the place there’s unrest and even inside the LGBTQIA+ group, some teams proceed to face discrimination disproportionately. Main occasions just like the Australian Open have the chance to leverage giant platforms, ample sources and far-reaching communication channels to essentially drive cultural change, to maneuver the dial on equality and create protected areas for everybody.

Lastly, are you able to please end these sentences:

The very best a part of the Australian Open is … camaraderie, wholesome competitors and watching world-class athletes battle it out on Aussie courts.

Tennis is enjoyable as a result of … it’s for everybody, and anybody can have a go. Even me!

> Check out more interviews from our Celebrity Match series

E book on-line, play at the moment: Go to to get out on court docket and have some enjoyable!

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Printed : 2023-07-11 16:47:05

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