Australian Open 2021: Fans forced to leave during Novak Djokovic match due to lockdown rules
Despite some earlier reports that they might be given a reprieve, spectators at the Rod Laver Arena were asked to leave midway through the match between Novak Djokovic and Taylor Fritz due to the Melbourne lockdown. The game was suspended whilst the players waited for the fans to vacate the arena, which they did despite some initial protests.
Fans müssen wegen Lockdown Australian-Open-Anlage verlassen
Victoria has introduced a new lockdown that will last five days and that began at 11:59 PM local time.
Fans leave the Australian Open venue
Image credit: Getty Images
Initially there were reports that the fans in attendance at Rod Laver Arena would be given exemption from the new restrictions but with half an hour to go the spectators were told to leave.
After some delay, and some booing, the stadium was cleared and Fritz and Djokovic returned to the match with the former a break up and a set down in the fourth whilst the world number one was visibly struggling with injury.
The incredible moment fans were told to leave Djokovic match due to lockdown laws
Speaking on Eurosport Barbara Schett said that she "had never experienced anything like it."
Highlights: Djokovic overcomes injury to beat Fritz and reach fourth round
"It's so awkward," added Mats Wilander, "I'm not sure what to even say, it's just a strange time, and what a dramatic day with Nick Kyrgios and then this going on."