Melbourne: Ana Ivanovic was left badly shaken yesterday when an elderly spectator fell on a flight of stairs during her third-round match at the Australian Open, delaying play for almost 30 minutes as she received medical treatment.
The Serbian 20th seed, who eventually beat Latvian qualifier Anastasija Sevastova 6-3, 6-3, said she froze when the sound of the spectator's fall rang through Rod Laver Arena.
Ana Ivanovic reacts after her second round win over Latvia’s Anastasija Sevastova on Day Four of the Australian Open at Melbourne Park yesterday. Pics/Getty Images
"Actually it was — well, first I felt really bad. I was really shaking, because the sound of the lady falling was really loud. I could hear it," she said of the incident at 4-3 in the first set. "I stopped immediately. It was really unfortunate, but, I mean, it was the same for both of us." Tournament officials said the woman "fell on the steps inside Rod Laver Arena" and was helped by a medical professional who happened to be in the crowd before the first-aid team arrived.
As Ivanovic and Sevastova looked on anxiously, an umpire was heard telling them that medics were waiting for a spinal board and collar before they could move the stricken fan. "The patron was stretchered to the first aid post for observation and further treatment," the officials said, without commenting on her condition.
Medical personnel attend to a spectator during a break in play at the Rod Laver Arena yesterday
Ivanovic wished the elderly woman well. "I just hope the lady was fine. It was actually good that we had to wait a little bit because I was really shaking, because I could imagine and it was not so nice," he said. "Then they told us she was bleeding, so, yeah, I hope she's well."
When play finally resumed, it was Ivanovic dealt with the interruption better, winning the next two games to clinch the
She got an early break in the second set and held serve before Sevastova, whose best Australian Open performance was the round of 16 in 2011, clawed her way back for 3-3. But Ivanovic got another crucial break in the eighth game, and a backhand into the net from the Latvian ensured she lived to fight another day.
>> Angelique Kerber (GER x7) bt Alexandra Dulgheru (ROM) 6-2, 6-4
>> Laura Siegemund (GER) bt Jelena Jankovic (SRB x19) 3-6, 7-6 (7/5), 6-4
>> Victoria Azarenka (BLR x14) bt Danka Kovinic (MNE) 6-1, 6-2
>> Garbine Muguruza (ESP x3) bt Kirsten Flipkens (BEL) 6-4, 6-2
>> Karolina Pliskova (CZE x9) bt Julia Goerges (GER) 7-6 (7/5), 6-1