Ivanovic coach collapses

Melbourne, January 23

A mid-match medical emergency involving Ana Ivanovic’s coach — who is also the father of Andy Murray’s heavily pregnant wife — caused concern and disruption on a dramatic evening at the Australian Open on Saturday.

Nigel Sears, 58, collapsed at Rod Laver Arena during Ivanovic’s match with Madison Keys, and needed emergency treatment as the shocked players and thousands of fans looked on. The match was halted for just under an hour as the British coach was stretchered away before Serbia’s Ivanovic bravely resumed play — only to lose 4-6, 6-4, 6-4 to a determined Keys.

As the drama unfolded, Murray was playing at the adjacent Margaret Court Arena, watched by his mother Judy. He did not give the usual on-court interview after his 6-2, 3-6, 6-2, 6-2 win over Joao Sousa. Murray, Ivanovic and Keys all cancelled their post-match press conferences and the men’s world No 2 was understood to have gone to the hospital to see Sears.

Earlier, French Open champion Stan Wawrinka brought up his 400th tour-level win to set up a clash with Milos Raonic, who is in mourning for victims of a Canadian high school shooting, which left four dead. Two-time women’s champion Victoria Azarenka blew away Japanese teenager Naomi Osaka 6-1, 6-1 and raced into the last 16 for the loss of just five games in total, and also saw Garbine Muguruza cleared from her path as the third seed crashed to Barbora Strycova. Wawrinka wielded his signature one-handed backhand to bad effect against Lukas Rosol as he rolled the Czech 6-2, 6-3, 7-6 (7/3).

A day after Roger Federer reached 300 Grand Slam wins, he has emerged from his compatriot’s shadow to establish himself among the top men’s contenders. Wawrinka now goes into a last-16 clash with Canada’s Raonic, who was fired by his grief over high shooting as he overwhelmed Victor Troicki 6-2, 6-3, 6-4.