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Fight Breaks Out at the Australian Open

Photo of Novak Djokovic by GavinZ.

Photo of Novak Djokovic by GavinZ.

Defending Australian Open champion and 3rd ranked player in the world, Novak Djokovic, survived a tough match against American Amer Delic. The 21-year-old Serb, Djokovic, lost a set for the first time at the Aussie to the Bosnian-American Delic, but was still able to win 6-2,4-6,6-3,7-6(4). It was the fight that occurred after the match that had been touted as “The Battle of the Balkans,”  however, that has gotten the most attention.

After the match concluded, Delic and Djokovic hugged at the net, but there was no hugging outside the stadium amongst the fans. Just moments after that warm embrace between the players, chairs and bottles were being thrown and screaming could be heard. The scuffle was over in two minutes and several fans were escorted out of the stadium. According to reports, about 45 people were ejected from the stadium.

This scuffle was likely politically motivated as the fans were predominantly of Bosnian and Serbian origian and there are ethnic tensions between the two nations to this day. Fans had been unruley in Delic’s previous matches, but the behavior was expected to be less apparent because the match between Delic and Djokovic took place on a show court.

During the match, both men played in good spirits and were very respectful towards each other. If fact, Delic had previously attempted to reach out to the more nationalistic fans of his by posting the following statement on his website: “As we all know, Bosnians and Serbs have had some differences in the past, however this is not the place nor the time to settle those differences. Novak and I are tennis players playing in of the greatest settings in the World of Tennis. I am only hoping for a fair fight that all the fans will enjoy, with the key word being ‘enjoy.’ That’s what we are all here for to enjoy moments like these…”

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