Ethnic violence breaks out in Australian Open (Australian Open diary)

January 23rd, 2009 - 10:03 pm ICT by IANS  

Melbourne, Jan 23 (IANS) The Australian Open was Friday once again the centre of ethnic violence.Chairs were hurled around busy Garden Square and punches were thrown in the latest ugly incident.

The troublemakers had been watching Serb Novak Djokovic beat Bosnian American Amer Delic in a tight four-set match, and baiting each other. Witnesses said the trouble erupted about 4 p.m. when a drink was thrown by someone in the crowd.

It grew into a melee involving at least 20 warring fans.

Police labelled the incident “a bit of a chair-throwing contest” and said only plastic chairs were used as missiles. But at least one metal-framed chair was hurled.

More than 30 were thrown out of Melbourne Park and escorted out of the precinct by police and security guards. Two men will be charged with riotous behaviour.

Delic later appealed to his fans to restrain themselves. He said he was “really sad” that innocent people had been injured.

Djokovic, however, declined to read the riot act to his fans. “If I start to lose my energy on these things, I’m going to lose my focus as well,” he said.


Vaidisova becomes first woman to be fined

Czech starlet Nicole Vaidisova was so disgusted with her first round loss that she refused to attend the mandatory post-match press conference. The International Tennis Federation (ITF) has fined her $2,000 for the no-show.

Having slipped from the world’s top-40 after a disappointing 2008, Vaidisova’s woes continued with an ugly 2-6, 1-6 loss to Frenchwoman Severine Bremond.

An Open semi-finalist in 2007, Vaidisova, is the only woman to have been fined at the opening grand slam of the season.


Venus doesn’t think Australian open is a jinx for her

American tennis star Venus Williams is yet to add the Australian Open to her seven Grand Slam titles. But her unceremonious second round loss to 46th-ranked Carla Suarez Thursday has not made her believe that the Grand Slam is a jinx for her.

“I don’t believe in jinxes because I don’t believe in witches or warlocks or magical creatures and stuff. Therefore, I can’t believe in a jinx, ” Williams said. “I definitely would have liked to play better. I mean, that’s really what I feel like now. I spent a lot of time preparing and I would have liked to have played better.”

It was not Venus’s worst loss at Melbourne Park. That came in the first round in 2006 against the 94th-ranked Tsvetana Prinonkova from Bulgaria.

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