Home » Sluggish security torched after protester wreaks havoc

Sluggish security torched after protester wreaks havoc

The effectiveness of security at the Australian Open has come into question after a protester was escorted by a fan instead of court staff during the fourth round at Margaret Court Arena.

Alexander Zverev and Cameron Norrie were playing a crucial point midway through the third set when a Palestinian supporter began to yell and threw paper onto the court. 

Initially, the protester was apprehended by a fan before security ejected them from the stadium.

READ MORE: Adelaide pub crawl lands Maxwell in hospital

READ MORE: Star’s teary retirement rocks tournament

READ MORE: ‘Cheap’ de Minaur ribbed amid engagement rumours

“Oh, goodness me. There is someone down one end of the court who’s being a nuisance,” Peter Psaltis said on Nine’s coverage.

“We’re not going to show too much of it. This is ridiculous.” 

John Millman added, “It’s actually a crowd member that’s stopping it.”

The moment left a bitter taste in Zverev’s mouth, who questioned whether security was doing a good enough job. 

He noted the apparent overzealous approach to players in parts of the venue versus the relaxed treatment of spectators courtside.

“That was a little bit surprising because the security here — I mean, on-site where the players’ area is, is extremely strict,” Zverev explained.

“Even today, I played obviously five sets, four hours, some minutes. I went to the locker room, and the gym area is right next to the locker room. They wouldn’t let me into the gym because I forgot my credentials in the locker room.

“What are you doing? You’re protecting players from players. That’s not really the whole point. Something like this happens and it takes three, four minutes for somebody to show up.

Watch the 2024 Australian Open live and exclusive on Nine, 9Now and ad-free on Stan Sport

“I think that should be the opposite. It should be where it’s already the quarter-finals and you know the players. Especially there’s obviously screens and TVs everywhere in front of all the security guys, if you’ve seen somebody play for four and a half hours, it’s okay to go stretching in the gym, even if you forgot your credential.

“That’s not sounding arrogant. I understand they’re all doing their job. But I think when something like this happens, it shouldn’t be another fan dragging the other person out. It should be the security guys that should be there quite quickly. It shouldn’t take them three, four minutes, that long.”

Despite the disruption, Zverev was sympathetic to the protester’s cause. 

“There’s obviously a lot going on in the world and a lot of quite bad things happen,” he said.

“I understand some people are frustrated. Of course, a tennis match has nothing particularly to do with it. I also understand both sides there.”

Zverev defeated Norrie in a five-set thriller that was decided by a 10-point tie-breaker.

The German will face Spain’s Carlos Alcaraz while Hubert Hurcasz will take on Daniil Medvedev in the other quarter-final on that side of the draw.

Elsewhere, Novak Djokovic will face Taylor Fritz and Jannik Sinner goes head-to-head with Andrey Rublev.