Greek fans kicked out of Australian Open in ugly 'racism' storm

Up to 20 Greek supporters have been ejected from the Australian Open for disruptive behaviour.

Earlier in the week, Greek star Stefanos Tsitsipas had urged his fans to pay more respect during a match at the Australian Open.

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Now, some fans supporting the country's No.1 women's player Maria Sakkari in a late afternoon match on Court 8 against Japanese Nao Hibino have been ejected from the Grand Slam.

"About 6.05pm this evening a group of 15-20 males were evicted from the tennis for disruptive behaviour," Victoria Police said in a statement.

"The group had received numerous warnings during a match on Court 8 from a match referee, security and police.

Greek fans (not pictured here) were ejected during Maria Sakkari's match. Image: Getty

"After the match the group were asked to leave and did so peacefully."

News Corp Australia quoted a number of fans who said they were simply chanting and cheering and had been ushered out for no reason.

“I feel like it’s a racist approach,” fan Armani Nikkas III was quoted as saying.

“After the game, we won, and then we celebrated how we do, but people think it’s taking it too far.

“We’re just celebrating, supporting our people.”

Sakkari, who won the match in straight sets, said she felt the support had been positive and it she would miss the fans if they were banned from attending her future matches.

"It is going to be different playing here without them," she said.

Tsitsipas calls for more respect

On Monday Greece's top men's player Tsitsipas had welcomed the positive support but said Greek fans needed to be more respectful of the opposition and stop acting like football fans.

"That's all. Nothing else. They can do what they're doing, but probably with more respect," he said.

Backed by a vocal Greek crowd, Tsitsipas showed exactly why he’s tipped to trouble the big guns of Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic.

Greece's Stefanos Tsitsipas celebrates after winning the match against Italy's Salvatore Caruso. (REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji)

But Tsitsipas said he actually finds some of the fans’ chants distracting.

“If I would be an opponent – I mean, I do understand he doesn't understand what's happening out there and what the chants are – but I think also, from their side, they should be a little bit more respectful to the opponents. That's all, nothing else,” he said.

“I mean, they can do what they're doing but probably with more respect.”

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