According to reports, more than 20 Greek supporters were kicked out of Melbourne Park for displaying disruptive behaviour. The incident took place at Court 8 of Melbourne Park where Greek’s No. 1 women’s player Maria Sakkari was facing Japanese player Nao Hibino. Few days before the incident, Greece’s top men’s player Stefanos Tsitsipas welcomed all the support from fans but also asked them to be respectful towards other players and their team. He said that sometimes fans cross a line and they should respect the opponent team.
“They can do what they’re doing, but probably with more respect,” he said.
After the incident, Victoria Police issued a statement where they revealed that fans were kicked out for not listening to Australian Open officials and the chair umpire. Victoria Police also said that officials at court 8 kept on asking the Greek supporters to calm down, but they failed to listen. Even the referee, security and police asked them to stop the disturbance, but 15-20 supporters didn’t listen.
After the fans were kicked out, they claimed that they were celebrating the win of Maria Sakkari in a non-violent manner. They even slammed Australian Open officials and called them racists. Some said that they were just cheering for Sakkari. One fan said that they never expected this attitude from Australian Open officials.
“Today we were supporting our country, the Greeks, and we were chanting. People kicked us out for no reason. I feel like it’s a racist approach,” said a fan to The Herald Sun.
Maria Sakkari supported the fans and said that they were displaying a positive attitude. She said that the fans were chanting for her throughout the match which was a big help. Maria Sakkari hoped that officials would not ban the fans from attending her future matches.