Oblivious Australian Open spectator ejected in farcical scenes

Andrew Reid
·4-min read
Seen here, the Australian Open spectator that caused a halt to play on Monday.
An Australian Open spectator had no idea about the disruption he was causing on Monday. Pic: Ch9

Six-time Australian Open champion Dylan Alcott found himself at the centre of a bizarre incident during his quad wheelchair singles match at Melbourne Park on Monday afternoon.

Alcott set up a shot at a seventh straight Australian Open title, with an impressive straight sets win over 18-year-old Dutchman, Niels Vink.

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The popular Aussie - who is also a Paralympic champion and commentator - recovered from going down an early break to seal the 6-4 6-3 win.

Alcott faces another Dutchman in the final, in the form of Sam Schroder, who is also yet to drop a set at the tournament.

Pictured here, Dylan Alcott is still on track for a seventh Australian Open title in a row.
Dylan Alcott won through to his seventh Australian Open final in a row. Pic: Getty

The match represents a chance for the 30-year-old Aussie to gain revenge against Schroder, who toppled Alcott in the final of last year's US Open.

The six-time reigning Australian Open champion didn't have things all his way in the opening set after Dutch teen Vink jumped out to a 4-2 lead.

However, Alcott managed to rattle off the next four straight games to snatch the opening swave et off the promising 18-year-old.

The Aussie's charge to his seventh straight final was halted during the second set after a hilarious incident with a lone spectator inside Margaret Court Arena.

The man was sitting right up the back of the stands and appeared to be engaged in an animated conversation on his mobile phone.

The chair umpire called out over the PA system for the spectator to stop talking and put the phone away but the man had his earphones in and obviously didn't hear it.

He then proceeded to sit there chatting away, oblivious to the fact that his conversation was causing a disruption to the match.

Alcott even tried to wave his arms at the man from the baseline on court, in an attempt to get his attention.

After several moments, the talkative spectator finally got the message and promptly exiting the arena, with his tail between his legs.

Barty hoping to follow Alcott's lead

Another Aussie hoping to follow Alcott into the next round is Ash Barty, who says she's ready to "scrap and fight" in pursuit of Australian Open glory after cruising through to the second week without dropping a set.

The World No.1 has powered into the last 16 for a sixth consecutive major - and third straight year at Melbourne Park.

But Barty knows she'll need to find another gear if she's to even reach the last eight, let alone break Australia's 43-year Open title drought.

The home favourite on Monday night takes on American Shelby Rogers, a heavy-hitting opponent defying her unseeded status with her own impressive run through the draw.

Rogers is also yet to drop a set, surging into the fourth round for the loss of only 17 games.

Barty beat her en route to the Yarra Valley Classic title but needed three sets after weathering a mid-match storm.

"It's always exceptionally tough against Shelby. She's got the ability to take the game away from you, she's got the ability to give you no control out there," the top seed said.

"And that's something I'm going to have to try and nullify and neutralise as best I can.

"At times it will be me scrapping and fighting. Other times I will be trying to take the more aggressive option.

"Other times, sometimes you have to almost dangle a carrot in a way where you tempt her to try and take some risks. I'll have to do that, try all different things, just as I did last week and just as I've done every time that I've played her.

"So we'll have to do the best that we can, but understand that the match is not always in my full control."

with AAP

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