‘An ugly confrontation between Greek tennis fans and police — in which about 30 people, including children, were affected by capsicum spray — marred the second evening of the Australian Open in Melbourne last night.
The incident occurred during a match between Greek player Konstantinos Economidis and highly ranked Chilean Fernando Gonzalez about 8.30pm.
Play was stopped for eight minutes after police discharged capsicum spray in a Greek section of the crowd at the outdoor Margaret Court Arena. The spray drifted across the court and affected the players.
“It was unpleasant for us,” said Economidis, who eventually lost the match. He said the arena “was full of people who were cheering and looked like they were enjoying the tennis and it was a really nice atmosphere”.
Gonzalez said the crowd was noisy but not offensive.
Australian Open director Craig Tiley last week announced plans for zero-tolerance policing.’