Fans lose the plot over Steve Waugh appearance at Australian Open

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Steve Waugh, pictured here tucking into an ice cream at the Australian Open.
Steve Waugh was tucking into an ice cream when Channel Nine cameras spotted him at the Australian Open. Image: Channel Nine

Australian cricket legend Steve Waugh had fans in a frenzy at the tennis on Thursday night after he was spotted in the crowd chowing down on an ice cream.

The former Australia captain was in attendance for Ash Barty's semi-final demolition of Madison Keys, the World No.1 cruising into the final 6-1 6-3.

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During a break in play, Channel Nine cameras panned around the crowd to show some of the celebrities who were watching the action.

Former AFL star Barry Hall could be seen taking in the match, as was cricket legend Waugh.

However the timing couldn't have been worse for Waugh, who was tucking into a Cornetto when the cameras found him.

Fans had a field day with the awkward moment on social media.

“Even eating an ice-cream, Steve Waugh looks intense," wrote commentator and comedian Titus O'Reilly.

Journalist Steve Taylor tweeted: “Steve Waugh demolishing that ice-cream like a twin with a pesky younger brother.”

While reporter Steve Smith tweeted: “Steve Waugh spent several minutes mentally disintegrating that ice-cream before devouring it.”

Speaking on Today on Friday morning, Karl Stefanovic said: “Who can blame Steve Waugh, one of our great cricket captains, for his enthusiastic demolition of an ice cream which unfortunately was picked up by the cameras and has now gone viral.

“Having been at an NRL match and had 400 shots of me on the coverage eating pies, I kind of get it.”

Many also referenced an iconic Seinfeld episode in reacting to Waugh's ice cream moment.

Ash Barty one step away from breaking Aus Open drought

Barty is living out a childhood dream after sweeping past Keys in straight sets to become the first home hope to reach the Australian Open women's singles final in 42 years.

The first Australian to make the women's Open title match since Wendy Turnbull in 1980, Barty delivered another serving masterclass on Rod Laver Arena to see off Keys in just 62 minutes.

The 25-year-old's last hurdle in her quest to become the first local Open singles champion since Chris O'Neil in 1978 will be resurgent American World No.30 Danielle Collins.

"It's unreal. Honestly, it is just incredible," Barty said.

Ash Barty, pictured here after her win over Madison Keys in the Australian Open semi-finals.
Ash Barty speaks on court after her win over Madison Keys in the Australian Open semi-finals. (Photo by Recep Sakar/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

"To be in the finals weekend of your home grand slam is what a lot of Aussie players dream of.

"I love this tournament, love coming out here and playing in Australia and, as an Aussie, we are exceptionally spoiled that we are a grand slam nation (and) we get to play in our backyard and I am just happy that I get to play my best tennis here.

"I enjoy it, I've done well before and now we have a chance to play for a title. It's unreal."

Remarkably, Barty has dropped only one of her past 82 service games since her opening match of the year against Coco Gauff in Adelaide almost four weeks ago.

"I just feel really clear on my service games," she said.

"I have a lot of trust in my game, have a lot of trust in my serve.

"Even tonight I feel like I gave Maddie a lot of looks at second serves. I didn't quite have my rhythm on the first serve but, when I needed it most, it was there."

with AAP

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