Australian Open Stars in Bad On-Court Behaviour | Sports Pundit

The absence of fans in the stands at the Australian Open appears to have done nothing to alter the behaviour of some of the players.

On Friday night, Novak Djokovic’s match with the American Taylor Fritz had to be interrupted at 11.30 pm local time. That was to allow tie for the fans who were still in the stands watching the contest time to leave the stadium and return to their homes before the new local lockdown came into force at midnight.

It had been announced by the State of Victoria earlier in the day following a sudden peak in local coronavirus cases associated with the UK variant of the disease.

However, the absence of fans did not stop the players antics on Saturday.

The women’s number six seed, Karolina Pliskova from the Czech Republic was so incensed by her own performance and the number of unforced errors that she was making that she threw a temper tantrum after dropping the first set to compatriot Karolina Muchova.

She smashed a racquet to pieces in disgust, and then picked up another, walked into the players tunnel, and destroyed that as well. A match official saw what she had done and reported her to the chair umpire, Alison Hughes, who promptly docked her a point. When Pliskova argued with Hughes and said that she could do what she liked, Hughes told her she was not allowed to destroy equipment whilst a match was in progress.

Pliskova eventually lost the match in straight sets.

Meanwhile, Russian Daniil Medvedev, the number four mens seed, was leading by two sets to love against the Serb Filip Krajinovic, when he began to falter. He dropped the third set and then went a service break down in the fourth, at which point he began to rant at the box where his coach Gilles Cervara was sitting.

Eventually Cervara was so fed up with the abuse that he was receiving that he picked up his bag and walked out. He did not see his charge win the match in five sets.

Later Medvedev diplomatically said that Cervara left in order to give him a chance to cool down.

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