Melbourne, 29 November 2010 |

The exciting summer of tennis is just around the corner and to take it to a whole new level, the first nationwide Australian Open Trophy Tour has hit the road and will visit Castlemaine and Bendigo today, Monday 29 November 2010.

Former World No.8 and MLC Tennis Hot Shots Ambassador, Alicia Molik, and St Mary’s Primary School students will be present to welcome the Norman Brookes Challenge Cup (men’s trophy) and Daphne Akhurst Memorial Cup (women’s trophy) to Castlemaine.

“Bringing the magnificent Australian Open trophies to regional areas and cities across Australia is a great way to build the excitement and get everyone thinking about the Australian Open in January,” Molik said, who will be playing this week in Bendigo at the WM Loud Bendigo International (November 29 to December 5).

To celebrate the Australian Open Trophies visit tho their school, the St Mary’s Primary School students will showcase their tennis skills in an MLC Tennis Hot Shots exhibition.

“I wish MLC Tennis Hot Shots was around when I was starting out,” Molik said.  “I have no doubt it will help inspire our tennis stars of the future.

“The MLC Tennis Hot Shots program lets kids learn the sport quickly and easily, build their confidence and also gets them active through playing sport.

“Using the modified equipment makes it easier for beginners to start playing the game, and it is a great way to introduce kids to tennis.”

For the first time in Australian Open history, the winner of the men’s and women’s singles titles will take home an exact full-size replica trophy instead of the miniature replica past champions have received.

Following their Castlemaine visit the Australian Open Trophies will head to Bendigo to be present for the official draw of the WM Loud Bendigo International at 3:00 pm this afternoon in Hargreaves Mall, Bendigo.

WM Loud Bendigo International is part of the 2010–2011 Australian Pro Tour, a series of international events that act as a springboard to the global tennis stage by providing vital ranking points and experience for the stars of tomorrow.

Tennis fans are invited to attend the official draw this afternoon from 3:00pm to 5:00 pm, and feel like a Grand Slam® champion as they enjoy their very own photo opportunity with the Australian Open Trophies, and participate in fun tennis activities.

Following the Castlemaine and Bendigo visits the trophies will head to Ocean Grove before finishing their journey at Melbourne Park on Monday 17 January, day one of Australian Open 2011.

Fans can follow the trophies around the country online by visiting