The Australian Open men's final has been rocked by ugly crowd drama with at least one supporter seemingly kicked out of Rod Laver Arena during the middle of the second set.
Novak Djokovic clinched a record-extending ninth title at Melbourne Park courtesy of a dominant 7-5 6-2 6-2 victory over Daniil Medvedev in the men's decider on Sunday night.
The World No.1 overcame a slight wobble to take the first set, before running away with the second.
'SHAMEFUL': Outrage over Australian Open crowd 'disgrace'
However, the match was briefly halted early in the second set when a member of the crowd had to be escorted out of the stadium after shouting loudly during a point.
Amateur footage taken from a smart phone inside Rod Laver Arena showed a number of security staff forcibly removing the rowdy fan.
Refugee protest on RLA mid point. They played let. pic.twitter.com/J8HAQ4IXTd
— 🔮 (@returnwinner) February 21, 2021
It's understood the person was heard shouting "free the refugees" during the point, causing a frustrated Djokovic to take matters into his own hands.
The Serb turned to the chair umpire to have the point replayed due to the disturbance, before signalling for the crowd member to be quiet.
“Nothing Novak could do about that. He put the ball high in the air mid-rally to suggest we need to play a let when the person wasn’t going to stop talking,” Jim Courier said in commentary.
The dramatic scenes left onlookers fuming on social media.
— Tennis GIFs 🎾🎥 (@tennis_gifs) February 21, 2021
Medvedev clearly got affected and missed that shot due to the guy from the crowd. #AusOpen
— Khuong Ho (@TehRealKhuong) February 21, 2021
— ralph horowitz (@rtralphy) February 21, 2021
Fancy paying top money and possibly taking someone’s spot in the crowd, only to be kicked out due to making a nuisance of yourself #AusOpen
— Simon Shillabeer (@shilly33) February 21, 2021
— 🌺 (@MANACATOSLOUIS) February 21, 2021
Shouldn't need to take Djokovic to tell the crowd to keep quiet. #AusOpen
— Scott Brown (@Scottie_Brown) February 21, 2021
World No.1 too hot for Russian to handle
Djokovic came flying out of the blocks with a break in the second game helping him surge to a 3-0 lead.
The Serb had a clear strategy to target Medvedev's serve, especially his second, with aggressive returns.
The tactic from the World No.1 paid off initially but the Russian third seed managed to claw his way back into the contest.
After withstanding another Djokovic assault in the fourth game to hold serve, Medvedev then grabbed a break of his own to reignite his first set hopes.
The Russian found himself back on levels terms for the set after taking the next game and it stayed that way for the majority of the opening stanza.
Djokovic edged back ahead in the eleventh game to force Medvedev to serve for the chance to force a tiebreak.
The World No.1 set up three set points and despite seeing Medvedev save two of them, the Serb took advantage at the third attempt to claim the opener.
A fired up Medvedev began the second set in emphatic fashion after breaking the Djokovic serve, but the eight-time champion won the next four games in a row to jump out to a commanding lead.
The World No.4 stemmed the bleeding to claim the sixth game but that was it for the Russian as Djokovic took out the next two - breaking the third seed for good measure to race out to a two-sets-to-love lead.
In the blink of an eye Djokovic raced out to a 5-2 lead in the third stanza, with Medvedev having to hold serve to stay in the tournament.
A wild miss on Medvedev's forehand presented Djokovic with another break point chance and an opportunity to clinch victory.
The 33-year-old did it in style with a tricky overhead winner to keep his impeccable record alive in Australian Open finals.
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