Race row erupts in Australian Open (Australian Open diary)

January 21st, 2009 - 10:36 pm ICT by IANS  

Roger FedererMelboune, Jan 21 (IANS) The Australian Open is amidst a race row after “unruly” Bosnian fans heckled and abused American first-round loser Taylor Dent.Dent’s father Phil, a former finalist at the Open, Monday launched a scathing attack on the Bosnian supporter base for their conduct during his son’s fiery match with Bosnian-born Amer Delic on an outside court.

Dent Jr made five complaints to the chair umpire before going down in five gruelling sets to Delic, who is now a US citizen.

“They were allowed to heckle, to taunt and to do lots of things. I’ve played a lot of Davis Cup and Grand Slam tennis and I can tell you, their behaviour wouldn’t be allowed anywhere in the world. It was out of control,” Phil was quoted as saying in Sydney Morning Herald.

“They were interrupting serves, they were chanting during line calls and even in the middle of a point. If Taylor had the same kind of support there would have been a riot.”

Tennis Australia have played down the incident with tournament referee Wayne McKewen saying the crowd did not contravene any regulations.

Safina grows out of Safin’s shadow

Until last year Russian Dinara Safina was better known as former World No.1 Marat Safin’s kid sister. But Safina, now ranked third in the world, has finally come out of her brother’s shadow.

When asked what the difference was after being seeded at a major, Safina said: ‘Well, difference? Now when I practice there are more people watching me, that I get better court, that I’m not anymore Marat’s sister (smiling). That’s different.”

Safina Tuesday beat compatriot Ekaterina Makarova to enter the third round here.

Dellacqua receives flak for carrying “excess baggage”.

Leading Australian coach Roger Rasheed slammed his country’s No. 2 player Casey Dellacqua for being overweight.

Dellacqua, who lost in straight sets to Daniela Hantuchova Monday, has been accused of returning from the off-season short of peak fitness.

“She may have had some injuries, she’s had a shoulder, but that doesn’t actually stop you from getting into real tip-top shape,” said Rasheed, former coach of Lleyton Hewitt.

“I’m baffled that girls in sport, in tennis, can actually carry excess baggage.

“It means you can’t play the shots you want to play often enough against the better players. So you lose.”

Federer great at dishing out advice: Ivanovic

Swiss superstar Roger Federer has donned a new cap - that of an agony uncle. According to Serbian tennis champion Ana Ivanovic, he is fantastic at handing out advice.

The No.5 seed made the revelation after her second round defeat of Alberta Brianti at Rod Laver Arena Wednesday. Speaking during her post-match press conference, she said she often had “nice chats” with the World No.2 at tournaments.

“He gives me sometimes a nice advice. It’s great because he achieved so much. I would love to have the opportunity to spend more time talking to him, because I think there are so many things I can learn from him, from his experience.”

“I think one year at the US Open I spoke to him. He said that you just basically have to enjoy and try not to think too much. Because I used to stress a lot about traveling so much and using so much time in traffic. He said, you know, you can’t change that. You just have to basically accept it.”

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