Australian Open: Fans forced to leave ahead of Victoria lockdown

By Sports Desk February 12, 2021

Fans were forced to leave Rod Laver Arena with Novak Djokovic's third-round match at the Australian Open still in progress. 

With Victoria entering a five-day lockdown from Saturday due to coronavirus concerns, spectators were told to leave Melbourne Park before 23:30 local time (12:30 GMT). 

Restrictions were coming into place in Victoria from 23:59 local time (12:59 GMT). 

Djokovic's clash against Taylor Fritz was the only match still in progress, although fans were informed to leave amid increasing drama. The world number one led by two sets to one but was struggling with a suspected abdominal injury in the fourth. 

There were boos when the announcement was made, with a message also displayed inside the arena. Play was briefly suspended as fans were moved out. 

No spectators will be allowed at the year's first grand slam for the next five days, although the tournament will continue. 

Related items

  • Inter coach Inzaghi tests positive for COVID-19 Inter coach Inzaghi tests positive for COVID-19

    Inter coach Simone Inzaghi has tested positive for coronavirus.

    The Serie A champions confirmed the 45-year-old returned a positive test on Monday following routine testing.

    In a brief statement, Inter informed supporters that Inzaghi "will now follow the protocols set out in the healthcare guidelines".

    Nevertheless, the news is not expected to result in major disruption for the club given they are not to be in action again until February 5, when they host neighbours Milan in the Derby della Madonnina.

    Under Italian Football Federation (FIGC) guidelines, players and staff only need to isolate for three days if they are showing no symptoms.

    Similarly, any players deemed to be a close contact of Inzaghi's will still be able to train as long as they have not tested positive for the virus.

    Measures were introduced at the start of the month that meant players, staff and fans had to have received at least two doses of a coronavirus vaccine to be allowed into stadiums.

    However, even before that rule was brought in, Serie A was reported to have had as many as 98 per cent of players already double vaccinated.

  • Australian Open: 'I don't know how I managed to do it' – Kanepi holds her nerve to stun Sabalenka Australian Open: 'I don't know how I managed to do it' – Kanepi holds her nerve to stun Sabalenka

    Kaia Kanepi surprised even herself by holding her nerve to eliminate second seed Aryna Sabalenka in a final-set tie-break and reach Australian Open quarter-finals for the first time.

    The world number 115 edged a topsy-turvy battle 5-7 6-2 7-6 (10-7) on Margaret Court Arena to set up a meeting with Iga Swiatek in the final eight.

    With Monday's impressive comeback win, Kanepi has now completed a clean sweep of reaching the quarter-finals of all four majors, making her the 15th active player to do so.

    But after squandering four match points in the 10th game of the deciding set, Kanepi admits she struggled to keep her nerves in check when the match went the distance.

    "I thought I was going to lose it after the match points I had on my serve," said the 36-year-old, who finished with 30 winners and 30 unforced errors.

    "It was really difficult to come back. I don't know how I managed to do it.

    "I was really tight. My hand was shaking when I started serving. I didn't make any first serves in, and that added to the pressure.
     
    "It was quite crazy. I think I would be more happy if I won after two, three match points. It was really close that I lost the match. I feel a bit exhausted right now.

    "The Australian Open was the only quarter-final grand slam I was missing. Given my age, I didn't actually believe I was going to do it. I'm really happy."

    After sealing a 14th career victory over a top-10 opponent, with her second win in a row against Sabalenka, Kanepi is now relishing Wednesday's battle with Swiatek.

    That will pit the youngest and oldest remaining players left in the draw against each other, with 20-year-old Swiatek having earlier defeated Sorana Cirstea in three sets.

    "I haven't watched her, I never played her, and I don't know how her ball feels, so we'll see when I play her," Kanepi said of her next opponent. "What I expect is to play good."

    Kanepi is one of six Australian Open quarter-final debutants remaining, with top seed Ash Barty and Madison Keys the only two to have previously reached this stage.

  • Australian Open: Wound-up Medvedev through after 'crazy' fourth set Australian Open: Wound-up Medvedev through after 'crazy' fourth set

    Daniil Medvedev's temper threatened to boil over during his match against Maxime Cressy, as the world number two reflected on a "crazy" final set.

    Medvedev beat Cressy 6-2 7-6 (7-4) 6-7 (4-7) 7-5 on Monday to ensure his place in the quarter-finals of the Australian Open.

    The second seed is the fifth Russian man in the Open Era to reach the quarter-finals in Melbourne on multiple occasions, joining Yevgeny Kafelnikov (five), Nikolay Davydenko (four), Aleksandar Metreveli and Marat Safin (both three).

    Medvedev had it far from easy against the world number 70, who reached the final of the Melbourne Summer Set earlier this month, losing to Rafael Nadal, and the match lasted three hours and 30 minutes on Margaret Court Arena.

    Indeed, Medvedev was extremely tense in the fourth and what proved to be final set, as he squandered eight chances to break before finally doing so to nudge himself into a 6-5 lead. 

    His temper frayed at 2-2, however, with Medvedev shouting: "It's simply unbelievable how lucky he is. I've never seen anything like this in my life."

    Medvedev eventually served out the win, taking the first match point on offer, but the US Open champion knew he had been in a battle.

    "He really did [serve and volley] well," Medvedev said. "First set I had control, but the second set I didn't manage to break him but won the tie-break and just wanted to continue this way.

    "When I lost the third [set] and when I had eight break points in the fourth set, I was like, come on. Some of them I could have won, but he played well, but on the last one I played well.

    "It was not easy. If I didn't win the fourth [set] I'd have probably been in a difficult mental shape because I had so many breakpoints. Hell of a match. The fourth set was crazy."

    Overall it was a deserved win for Medvedev, who made only 11 unforced errors in contrast to Cressy's 49, and even if he only took three out of 12 break points, the 25-year-old offered up just one to his opponent, which the French-born American failed to capitalise on.

    Another annoyance for Medvedev was that he was again scheduled to play on Margaret Court Arena, rather than the crown jewel at Melbourne Park, Rod Laver Arena.

    "I really don't know what I should do to play on centre court here," he told reporters.

    Next up for Medvedev is a quarter-final tie against ninth seed Felix Auger-Aliassime.

    Medvedev has defeated the 21-year-old Canadian in all three of their previous meetings on the ATP Tour, including in his successful run to US Open glory last year, and in the ATP Cup earlier this month.

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.