All remaining spectators at Melbourne Park have been sent home as Victoria’s new lockdown restrictions take effect.
It was a remarkable moment when the news broke to the struggling crowd during Novak Djokovic’s clash with Taylor Fritz, inviting a torrent of boos from avid tennis fans.
Halfway through the fourth set, the referee read an official announcement from Tennis Australia explaining his procedure to get fans out of Rod Laver Arena.
“Under Victorian government restrictions, all Melbournians must be home by 11:59 p.m. AEDT tonight,” the statement said.
“Fans inside the RLA will be required to leave the arena by 11:30 p.m. AEDT. Please note that there may be a stoppage of play while fans are exiting.”
While fans laughed and hooted when they were kicked out of the room, it was music to Djokovic’s ears listening to a hostile ear as the underdog Fritz launched a sensational comeback.
The game was halted as fans left the venue.