Ana Ivanovic was concerned when she heard a loud noise as a spectator fell on some stairs at Rod Laver Arena, an accident that delayed her second-round match for almost a half hour at the Australian Open.
The 2008 finalist was leading qualifier Anastasija Sevastova 4-3 in the first set when medical personnel rushed to the woman’s aid in the upper level of the 15,000-seat stadium. The players stayed on the court during the break, getting regular updates from tournament officials, before Ivanovic returned to win 6-3, 6-3.
“First I felt really bad. I was really shaking, because the sound of the lady falling was really loud,” she said. “I stopped immediately.”
Ivanovic said she feared the worst for the spectator, “So I just hope the lady was fine.”
“It was actually good that we had to wait a little bit because I was really shaking, because I could imagine and it was not so nice. I hope she’s well.”
Tournament organizers said the spectator was treated in the stadium before being taken by stretcher for observation and more treatment.
Players regularly have breaks for rain and other reasons during matches, so Ivanovic said she didn’t let the distraction put her off her game.
“I was really happy I happened to win that service game, because didn’t have much warmup and had to start serving straight up,” she said. “I was very happy to close that first set.”
With No. 2-ranked Simon Halep and No. 7 Venus Williams already out, No. 20 Ivanovic is the most experienced player in her quarter.
Third-seeded Garbine Muguruza is in the same half of the draw, and the 2015 Wimbledon finalist moved into the third round for the third straight year at Melbourne Park with a 6-4, 6-2 win over Kirsten Flipkens. Muguruza will next play Barbora Strycova, who beat Vania King 7-6 (5), 6-4.
Two-time champion Victoria Azarenka returned from an injury layoff to win the Brisbane International title leading into the Australian Open and continued her winning run with a 6-1, 6-2 victory over Danka Kovinic. Japanese qualifier Naomi Osaka beat No. 18 Elina Svitolina 6-4, 6-4.
On the men’s side, No. 10-seeded John Isner fired 20 aces and 53 winners in a 6-3, 7-6 (5), 7-6 (2) win over Marcel Granollers, No. 23 Gael Monfils beat fellow Frenchman Nicolas Mahut 7-5, 6-4, 6-1 and No. 32 Joao Sousa beat Santiago Giraldo 6-3, 7-5, 3-6 6-1.