Melbourne: A mid-match medical emergency involving Ana Ivanovic’s coach — who is also the father of Andy Murray’s heavily pregnant wife — caused concern and disruption on a dramatic evening at the Australian Open on Saturday. Nigel Sears, 58, collapsed at Rod Laver Arena during Ivanovic’s match with Madison Keys, and needed emergency treatment as the shocked players and thousands of fans looked on.
Andy Murray celebrates his 6-2, 3-6, 6-2, 6-2 win over Joao Sousa in Melbourne on Saturday
Play halted for an hour
The match was halted for just under an hour as the British coach was stretchered away before Serbia’s Ivanovic bravely resumed play — only to lose 4-6, 6-4, 6-4 to a determined Keys.
As the drama unfolded, Murray was playing at the adjacent Margaret Court Arena, watched by his mother Judy. He did not give the usual on-court interview after his 6-2, 3-6, 6-2, 6-2 win over Joao Sousa.
Murray, Ivanovic and Keys also cancelled their post-match press conferences. However, a stadium announcer told the crowd at Rod Laver Arena that Sears was conscious and sitting up.
Medical staff use a stretcher to carry Ana Ivanovic’s coach Nigel Sears from the Rod Laver Arena on Saturday. Pics/AFP
'Sears is okay'
"He’s okay," he said, in a comment that was greeted with applause.
Ana Ivanovic looks on as her coach Nigel Sears is stretchered away
Uncannily, it was Ivanovic’s second match at Rod Laver Arena to be interrupted by a medical emergency after an elderly spectator fell on a stairway and also needed lengthy treatment on Thursday.
Murray has pledged to quit the tournament if his wife, who is due to give birth to their first child within weeks, goes into labour.