There was a sight to behold in Australia on Friday as tennis was played in front of a near-capacity crowd for the first time in nearly a year.

Crowds packed into the Memorial Drive Tennis Centre in Adelaide for the ‘A Day at the Drive’ exhibition event.

The likes of Rafael Nadal, Naomi Osaka and Novak Djokovic were all in action on a day that reminded us of both our past, and our potential future.

Of course, this stunning sight has come as a result of some brilliant work carried out in Australia over the last year.

Aussie’s have been subject to harsher lockdowns than virtually anywhere on the planet, and the country hasn’t recorded a single positive COVID case in the community in 12 days. (ABC News)

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Australian Open crowds will be slightly different

While crowds in Adelaide were close to capacity, things will be watered down a little bit over in Melbourne.

Crowds at the Australian Open will be capped at 35% – meaning that around 5,000 spectators could take in matches at the Rod Laver Arena. (Yahoo)

Melbourne Park will be split into three zones in order to limit any potential spread of COVID-19.

Photo by Morgan Hancock/Getty Images

It will still be a very different Australian Open, with crowds to be made up entirely of local fans.

But after going without tennis for so long in 2020, and then watching it being played largely in front of empty stadia for the rest of the year, the next few weeks will be glorious.

Australia deserves huge credit for making this near-capacity tennis crowd dream a reality,