Australian Open 2016: Watch because its your patriotic duty to watch Lleyton Hewitt lose

Australians love their tennis. They might love other sports more passionately, more sincerely, and for more than two weeks a year, but there's no doubt that, during the sunny window of the Australian Open (Seven, 7pm), we are a country absolutely committed to the game of tennis and all the intricacies that we try to remember.

 And you can sneer at the abrupt and brief outbreak of racquet-love that bursts upon the country each January, only to go missing for the rest of the year, but it still beats the shining moment every November when we all pretend to care about horses.

Lleyton Hewitt.
Lleyton Hewitt will start his final Australian Open against James Duckworth. Photo: Getty Images

It's not really a sport to us, anyway. The Australian Open is simply a traditional cultural celebration, and what it is celebrating is that there is nothing much else on telly. Nowadays that's never really true, of course: if you've got the internet, there's always something on; but we like to honour our traditions, archaic and strange as they may be, and when the Open comes on it is our patriotic duty to at least occasionally switch it on, watch for a few minutes, and nod wisely, intoning, "Mmm. Lovely backhand."  You should also make special note of the players' topspin second serves, which are bound to be a highlight.

 When it comes to the players themselves, the important points are that: Novak Djokovic is slightly mad and will definitely win the Open; Andy Murray is slightly dull and will win if Djokovic doesn't; Roger Federer is beautiful but can't win any more; Serena Williams will crush everyone and everything in her path; and Lleyton Hewitt is still playing against all expectations and logic.

Hewitt probably won't get very far, but neither will any other Australian, because almost as cherished as the Open itself is the tradition that Australians suck at it. With any luck, though, we'll get some terrible behaviour on court by Nick Kyrgios or Bernard Tomic, and it'll be brilliant TV.

And speaking of brilliant TV, it would be remiss of me not to mention the real reason Seven puts the tennis on each year: to plug the ever-loving manure out of its 2016 line-up. If you end the two weeks of the Australian Open still not being able to pronounce the players' names, rest assured you'll at least know every contestant on the new series of My Kitchen Rules. Ah, cross-promotion: it just wouldn't be summer without it.

Further viewing: Monty Python's The Meaning of Life (7Mate, 8.30pm) is all you need to deal with life's challenges. Especially the bit with the tiger.

Ocean's Eleven (Nine, 8.30pm) proves that sometimes, watching a bunch of mega-rich movie stars have a giggle actually can work as cinematic art.

Border Security: International (7Mate, 7pm) thinks globally and expands the horizons of what we thought was possible in televisual foreigner-shaming.