Net GAINS

Sports pre­sen­ter Mel McLaugh­lin gets another chance to shine at the Aus­tralian Open, writes HOLLY BYRNES

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - TV GUIDE -

STEP­PING into Bruce McA­vaney’s shoes as the prime-time an­chor for SCT’s Aus­tralian Open cov­er­age is no easy task.

But if en­thu­si­asm counts for any­thing – as much as it does for McA­vaney – then Mel McLaugh­lin is ready to throw her­self at the chal­lenge.

As she waxes lyri­cal about the Grand Slam spec­ta­cle and the prospect of play­ing her part, the sports news­reader even drops a few Bruce-isms into the con­ver­sa­tion.

Asked to weigh into the con­tro­versy over bad boys Nick Kyr­gios and Bernard Tomic, the 37-year-old echoes McA­vaney’s mea­sured tones, pon­der­ing Kyr­gios’ po­ten­tial.

“There’s no deny­ing the tal­ent he has and peo­ple re­gard him as a gen­uine con­tender for a Grand Slam, so this could most cer­tainly be his year,” she tells TV Guide, adding “what a spe­cial thing that would be, to kick off with the Aus­tralian Open.”

Be­sides be­ing an ac­com­plished com­men­ta­tor, McLaugh­lin is un­abashed about be­ing a ra­bid sports fan – from her foot­ball fa­nati­cism to spend­ing her sum­mer hol­i­day with fam­ily watch­ing sport.

“Like ev­ery­one, you try to switch off but we ended up watch­ing sport to­gether be­cause we love it,” she says. AUS­TRALIAN OPEN FROM 10AM MON­DAY ON SCT, 7TWO, 7MATE AND THE 7TENNIS APP

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