Up to 20 Greek supporters ejected from the Australian Open for disruptive behaviour on Wednesday have vowed they will be back and accused officials of a racist approach.
The group of fans were supporting Greece’s No. 1 women’s player Maria Sakkari in a late afternoon match on Court 8 against Japanese Nao Hibino.
Victoria Police said in a statement the fans failed to follow the directions from officials and the chair umpire.
“About 6.05pm this evening a group of 15-20 males were evicted from the tennis for disruptive behaviour,” the statement read
“The group had received numerous warnings during a match on Court 8 from a match referee, security and police.
“After the match the group were asked to leave and did so peacefully.
Show your colours 🇬🇷 🇬🇷 🇬🇷
The @mariasakkari fan squad is out in force 🙌🙌
— Fed Cup (@FedCup) January 22, 2020
Sakkari, who won the match in straight sets, said she felt the support had been positive and that she would miss the fans if they were banned from attending her future matches.
“It is going to be different playing here without them (if banned) for sure,” Sakkari said.
“I really like it and it makes me play even better and get more pumped; that’s why it’s one of my preferred places to play.
“So I really hope that it’s not going to happen.”
Sakkari felt the fans during her match on Wednesday had been more than fair.
“They respected the opponent at the maximum. They were not disrespectful, they had stopped when they had to stop. They were not say yelling on her double faults or mistakes,” she said.