Cameron Norrie was sledged by foul-mouthed louts before finally making the Australian Open third round at 1.28am local time.
The British No.1 played into the small hours of Thursday morning before he prevailed 6-3 3-6 7-6 6-3 against Frenchman Constant Lestienne.
The match on Court 13 – which had been pushed by the heavy rain in the afternoon – was watched by some rowdy punters.
One wag sang at Norrie: “You’re just a s*** Andy Murray.”
Others start singing “Lestienne’s going home” and “Enger-land”.
Another one shouted: “You’re world No.12 – show the c***.”
Those making the most disruption were asked to leave by security in the second set and three noisy culprits scuttled off with beer cans in their hands.
Norrie, 27, will now face unseeded Czech Jiri Lehecka in the last 32 on Friday and he said: “In was the first set there was a lot of English fans actually.
“And they had the football chants going which was good fun, then obviously they got kicked out.
“I could still hear them in the second set, like over here somewhere. But it was a great atmosphere.”
Lestienne was less impressed.
“This is all a bit awkward with spectators heckling Lestienne after he refused to play, BBC commentator David Law said during the match.
“Lestienne’s irritation is there for all to see, he is jabbering away at the umpire, and I don’t think he wants to be out there.
“‘Somebody in the crowd has just shouted “Come on mate, we’ve waited all day for this”. The locals are not happy. Lestienne is fuming and his bad mood is about to get worse.”
7:45AM MEDVEDEV IS DIFFERNET THIS YEAR
Back-to-back Australian Open finalist Daniil Medvedev is out to have the last laugh with the Aussie crowd he says he has a “strange relationship” with after a searing start to his campaign.
The Russian fell to Rafael Nadal in last year’s final but is paving an ominous path to redemption with a pair of straight-set victories including Australian John Millman on Wednesday night.
Medvedev has been seriously challenged in only one of his six sets of the tournament so far, with Millman claiming five games in the first on Wednesday.
The no.7 seed has been dominant otherwise, but with all the fanfare so far directed at Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal, it’s fair to say he’s flown under the radar.
He didn’t last year, though, particularly after sledging the Aussie crowd when he said some spectators had a “low IQ”.
Asked on Wednesday night whether he was back with a point to prove, Medvedev said: “To the crowd, maybe, because, yeah, it was a strange relationship last year. Let’s call it this way,” he laughed.
“So (I’m) really happy to be here this year. Played against an Aussie (Millman) today and it was a great atmosphere.”
Medvedev conceded the way he lost last year’s final after starting two sets up had played on his mind through a 2022 season that included a forced layoff due to a hernia procedure and being sidelined for Wimbledon because of his Russian nationality.
“I think it did affect me in a negative way,” he said.
“It’s not that you lose motivation. I was really motivated to continue doing well, but I think you lose – how to say it in English – you lose the connection, and that’s what happened a little bit to me.”
7AM PENIS-DOODLE UPDATE
Anyone paying close attention to the American contingent at Melbourne Park probably has one big question after three days of action.
What’s with the locks?
After their wins, a host of American players have been signing the broadcast cameras by drawing a “lock” on the screen.
Now we finally have answers.
Frances Tiafoe has explained exactly what is going on inside Team USA, taking credit for starting the trend that caught fire during the United Cup.
“It’s the whole thing with the United Cup guys. Just staying locked in,” he said after his round two win.
“I made a joke about it with the guys, the United Cup asking them before the march, ‘are you locked?’
“I’ve been kind of living by that for a little bit.
“I think you’ve seen the shift in myself in being more, you know, just locked in everything you’re doing, staying super present, staying in the moment, staying locked in.
“It’s funny coming from me because everyone knows how I go about my business.
“I’m very, you know, open and just joking around. When I’m saying it, it just sounds funny. So then it became a thing where if Frances can lock, everyone has got to lock. That’s kind of, like, how it all came around.”
But not all locks are created equally, as Team USA United Cup member Taylor Fritz found out on Tuesday.
The No.8 seed drew a picture on that camera that was certainly not safe for work.
And Tiafoe didn’t miss it, roasting his teammate for his lack of artistic skills.
“It’s funny because they’re all saying it,” he said.
“Fritz’s dumb arse drew a penis the other day trying to draw a lock sign. That’s Fritz being Fritz.”
6:15AM SOME GOOD NEWS
Tennis icon Chris Evert says she is “well on the road to recovery” and “cancer-free” following six rounds of chemotherapy.The 18-time Grand Slam singles champion shared an update on her health in a first-person piece published on the ESPN website.
The 68-year-old was diagnosed with stage 1 ovarian cancer when a malignant tumour was discovered during a preventative hysterectomy in December 2021.
But Evert – who before Christmas underwent a double mastectomy – now claims “there’s a 90 per cent chance” it will never come back.
Her younger sister Jeanne died from the same disease in February 2020 aged 62.
Evert, who is an established TV sports pundit, said: “I have one more surgery left to complete reconstruction.
“They say this part is easy but I can assure you, the last five years have not been.
“As relieved as I will be to get to the other side of this, I will always have a heavy heart.
“I’ll never heal from losing Jeanne, and I will never take for granted the gift she gave me in the process.
“My sister’s journey saved my life, and I hope by sharing mine, I just might save somebody else’s.”