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Three fans were captured on video fighting in the upper deck of Arthur Ashe Stadium during a U.S. Open match Thursday between No. 3 seed Novak Djokovic of Serbia and unseeded Philipp Petzschner of Germany.
The ugly spat started when a woman reportedly complained to a male fan about his loud use of expletives during the Djokovic-Petzschner match. In a subsequent argument with the male fan, who was in his early 20s, the woman slapped him across the face. (See above video.)
After the woman slapped the younger man, he began verbally antagonizing her and her older male companion. Things then got physical between the men, with the older man grabbing the younger man by the neck:
The men eventually both fell backwards down three rows of seats. When the younger man returned to his seat, he was again confronted by the woman who attempted to punch him. The woman missed and the younger man pushed her away. Onlookers and security personnel then descended on the younger man, ending the outburst.
Though the older man and woman - who were reportedly father and daughter - appeared to have started the physical portion of the confrontation, there’s no doubt from watching the video that the younger man initiated the entire incident with antagonizing language.
Something tells me alcohol may have been a factor in the incident. Read more…
Besides being a pretty good tennis player, Novak Djokovic has done quite well in performing impersonations of some of his courtly colleagues, such as Maria Sharapova. And after defeating Radek Stepanek on Monday night, Novak decided to entertain the US Open crowd with some mimicry of John McEnroe.
(Novak [L] doesn’t seem too focused, as McEnroe doesn’t take too kindly to Djokovic’s joking)
However, unlike Djokovic’s previous targets, Johnny Mac didn’t take such tomfoolery lying down. In fact, McEnroe came down to the court to confront Djokovic - and served up a challenge to settle things once and for all.
Roger Federer is not used to losing. Ever. So his ongoing struggles to push above mediocrity are understandably trying not only to Federer’s tennis, but also his mental health. The most glaring proof of that came Friday in Miami, where Federer went Andre Agassi on his racquet, then decided his water cups were better suited to spend time in the stands than in his hands less than a set later.
(Photo proof of Federer’s racquet rage, from the MIAMI HERALD.)
Novak Djokovic — a Federer fire-ant past and present — was the culprit driving along this tantrum, which could be the sign of much larger issues for Federer. What started in an emotional meltdown after a memorable Wimbledon loss to Rafael Nadal is starting to get the feel of a grand unraveling, perhaps signaling the long slide of a 13-time Grand Slam winner back to earth.
Hooligans: they aren’t just for soccer anymore! In what’s becoming a regular occurrence at the Australian Open, scores of ethnic Serbs and Croats have chosen a tennis match as the tableau to act out their anger in their centuries-old rivalry. The occasion on Friday was the third round match where Serbian Novak Djokovic beat Bosnian-born American Amer Delic. The SYDNEY HERALD SUN reports that at least 30 people were kicked out of Rod Laver Stadium, and one woman was knocked unconscious by a chair.
As you can imagine, alcohol was partially to blame. THE TIMES OF LONDON notes that the beer was flowing on the tennis grounds bright and early thanks to one of the tournament sponsors, always a guarantee to fuel bad blood. Let’s see: a bunch of drunken idiots hurling lawn chairs at each other until the cops show up to break it up? Sounds like every frat party I ever went to in college, except with the added bonus of racial strife and undercurrents of genocide.
Tropical Storm Hanna is playing havoc with the US Open schedule today. In an unprecedented move, they had both semifinals going at once, with the Andy Murray vs. Rafael Nadal match moved earlier and to Louis Armstrong Stadium in a bid to beat impending rain storms. It didn’t work, as play was halted for the day in the third set.
It’s a break that Nadal must love, as he is down two sets to none to the surging Brit, although he is up 3-2 in the third. And while Murray is a compelling young player, CBS and the tennis world is hopig for a Nadal rally, as Roger Federer set up his half of a Wimbledon rematch by taking out Novak Djokovic in four sets.
Novak Djokovic, just a year removed from becoming Flushing’s instant darling after unveiling his array of tennis impressions (he served it just like Sharapova! Uncanny!), has managed nearly as quickly to become more unpopular than Armando Benitez in the Big Apple.
After dispatching Andy Roddick in four sets in the US Open quarterfinals, Djokovic celebrated with a double-barreled Usain Bolt chest thump, then blasted Roddick in his on-court interview.
(Video of Novak’s post-match interview after the jump.)