Australian Open descends into chaos with unruly fan and player bust-up

Australian Open descends into chaos as ‘drunk’ female spectator is dragged out the stands for hurling abuse at Rafael Nadal and two Italian stars almost come to blows in fiery spat

  • Unruly fan and fiery argument headline dramatic night at the Australian Open
  • Rafael Nadal embroiled in a bizarre exchange with unruly female fan in crowd
  • Italian players Fabio Fognini and Salvatore Caruso almost came to blows

The Australian Open descended into chaos with an unruly fan kicked out, a fiery shouting match between opponents, and a player vomiting on the court.

World No.2 Rafael Nadal had a bizarre exchange with a female fan in the crowd who hurled abuse and flipped the bird at him before being kicked out of Rod Laver Arena.

Earlier in the night, Italian players Fabio Fognini and Salvatore Caruso almost ended up in a fistfight and had to be physically separated by officials following their thrilling five set epic.

Meanwhile, Slovenia’s Kaja Juvan fought through two vomiting bouts on her way to an epic three set victory against defeat Egyptian opponent Mayar Sherif.

A female fan makes her feelings known to Rafael Nadal during his round two clash at the Australian Open on Thursday night.

World number two Rafael Nadal (pictured between sets) was caught up in the drama of a chaotic night at the Australian Open

Nadal was up 5-4 in the second set and preparing to serve to lead by two sets in his round two clash against American Michael Mmoh when he was heckled by an unruly female fan who hurled insults at him.

‘Thank you madam, you are delaying everyone,’ the umpire interjected.

Play was interrupted moments later when the woman flipped Nadal the bird then on the very next point, again yelled out just before he was ready to serve. 

Reports from the stands suggested the fan yelled out ‘hurry up you OCD f**k’.

A surprised Nadal appeared to poke fun at her as he laughed and pointed at himself asking ‘me?’. 

The woman then began waving wildly which attracted the attention of security, who was escorted the fan out of the arena as the crowd booed her.


World number two Rafael Nadal responded to the interruption by a female fan  in classy style

‘A little bit of a disturbance there in the crowd,’ Australian tennis great and commentator John Fitzgerald told Channel Nine viewers.

‘I couldn’t hear the specific language, there was a little bit of ill will between two ladies.

‘Well there is one lady that is getting rather animated, she might be asked to leave, actually. I think she’s having a crack at Rafa, I’m not sure why, she’s the first person I’ve seen do that.

‘She’s a bit inebriated I think, this is chaos. This is so unnecessary, it’s just one individual that has made a complete goose out of themselves.’

Nadal progressed to the third round in straight sets as his quest for a 21st grand slam title continues.

A Rafael Nadal fan holding a Spanish flag (pictured right) looks on in disgust as an unruly spectator flips her middle finger at the world number two

The unruly fan was in high spirits as she wildly waved her hands in the air, attracting the attention of venue security who escorted her out of the venue

The crowd booed at the unruly fan 

He gave a blunt response when he was asked about the bizarre encounter during his post-match interview on court.

‘Now there was someone in the crowd, you didn’t know her, did you?’ he was asked.

Nadal replied: ‘No, and honestly, I don’t want to know.’ 

He later expanded on the incident, smiling: ‘Maybe she took too much gin or tequila. I don’t know. But honestly it was strange situation, but, yeah, funny at the same time.

‘Somebody doing the finger to me – I don’t know the reason. I was surprised, yes, but at the same time was thinking, “poor girl”. Because probably she was drunk or something like this. I don’t know.’

Slovenia star Kaja Juvan is also through to the third round, despite vomiting several times during an 3-6 7-6(2) 6-3 nailbiter against Egypt’s Mayar Sherif. 

The stifling evening heat got to world No.104 Juvan, who was seen twice bending down and being sick next to her bench during the match.

The stifling evening heat got to world No.104 Kaja Juvan, who was seen twice bending down and being sick next to her bench during the match

‘Well this is tough to watch, beg your pardon, getting sick on the court,’ commentator Nick McCarvel said when Juvan first threw up.

‘Kaja Juvan obviously trying to keep herself physically going, trying to rehydrate. On the last point, she fought so hard and then collapsed to her knees.’

The match ended with both players in distress as the victorious Juvan fell to her knees before rushing back to her bench to vomit for a third time.

The game that almost lasted three hours was the second-longest women’s match in the first four days of the Australian Open.

Meanwhile, an enthralling five set marathon between two Italian players was overshadowed by their fiery post-match confrontation that almost led to a fistfight.

World No.16 Fabio Fognini and countryman Salvatore Caruso had to be physically separated by match officials following their thrilling five set epic.

The drama unfolded on the court moments after the match as they came face to face at the net on John Cain Arena.

Fabio Fognini (left) and Salvatore Caruso (right) had to be separated by a match official following their Australian Open showdown.

The pair exchanged a brief handshake before things quickly erupted into an angry war of words over the net.

The shouting match continued for several minutes after the pair returned to their benches.

The feuding pair continued to rant at each other in Italian as they wagged their fingers and gestured angrily at each other.

The pair were eventually separated by the supervisor as Caruso collected his gear and left the court as tensions continued to threaten to boil over. 

The ugly scenes were sparked by Fognini, who felt that his opponent got lucky. 

Italy’s Salvatore Caruso originally greeted compatriot Fabio Fognini with a handshake(pictured) before things escalated downhill into an ugly war of words

 A fired up Fabio Fognini (left) continued to argue with fellow countryman Salvatore Caruso (right) as his dejected opponent left the court

‘You have been f**king lucky, you should apologise, I didn’t disrespect you until now,’ a furious Fognini confronted his opponent.

‘You won four identical lucky points.’

A bewildered Caruso objected to his opponent’s accusations.

‘What are you talking about? I never said a word during all the match’ he said.

Fognini fired back: So why are you breaking my balls now? I said you have been lucky, if I’m wrong saying it, I’m wrong. Don’t attack me. 

Caruso replied:  ‘I didn’t attack you. I’m telling you it’s not the way to behave because I didn’t tell you a single world. Let’s say I didn’t expect that from you.’

The confrontation overshadowed Fognini’s 4-6, 6-2, 2-6, 6-3, 7-6(12) win to progress to the third round, where he’ll take on Australian Alex de Minaur on Saturday.

Fognini was tight-lipped on the incident afterwards where he refused to comment on the drama. 

‘We are good friends, and you know me better than the things that happened on court, for me stay on court. I have nothing to say about that question anymore,’ he later told reporters.

What was said between the Italian pair in angry confrontation

Fognini: You have been f**king lucky, you should apologise, I didn’t disrespect you until now.

Caruso: What are you talking about?

Fognini: You won four identical lucky points. 

Caruso: What are you talking about? 

Fognini: Can’t I say you have been lucky?

Caruso: I didn’t dare to say a single world in the whole match.

Fognini: I said something because you called for it. 

Caruso: I didn’t dare to say a single world in the whole match, enough now. 

Fognini: Can’t I say you have been lucky? What’s the problem? 

Caruso: You can do whatever you want. 

Fognini: So why are you breaking my balls now? I said you have been lucky, if I’m wrong saying it, I’m wrong. Don’t attack me. 

Caruso: I didn’t attack you. I’m telling you it’s not the way to behave because I didn’t tell you a single world. Let’s say I didn’t expect that from you. 

Fognini: What did you not expect? I told you you have been lucky, you didn’t like it, what should I say? 

Caruso: It’s not the way to do it. 

Fognini: Why? What’s the problem?

Fabio Fognini (left) felt his opponent Salvatore Caruso (right) got lucky, despite the win

The ugly altercation between Fabio Fognini (left) and Salvatore Caruso (right) overshadowed five set epic as a match officials tries to intervene

It’s not the first time Fognini has been embroiled in controversy at the Australian Open.

Fognini ripped his shirt off in protest and was docked a point for refusing to play during an ill-tempered fourth round loss to Tenys Sandgren that the American described as a ‘war’ at last year’s grand slam. 

Sparks flew after Fognini protested a foot-fault call and stormed off court for seven minutes.

Sandgren accused the umpire of lacking the courage to penalise Fognini, who was then docked a point penalty for refusing to play after being broken in his first service game of the second set. 

Fognini, complaining of blisters, ripped off his shirt and protested about that call to no avail before going down 4-0.

The Italian won the next five games as the opponents continued to snipe at each other across the net.

Sandgren eventually won the match to book a quarter final berth.

Salvatore Caruso (top) and compatriot Fabio Fognini continued to clash after they returned to their benches

 

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