British player Cameron Norrie faced an uphill task in defeating Constant Lestienne in four sets at the Australian Open.
On top of having to begin the match at 10pm, which eventually finished at 1:28am, Norrie was given a healthy dose of abuse from a raucous crowd of around 100 people on Court 13.
A few English supporters yelled “you’re just a s–t Andy Murray” while also chanting “Lestienne’s going home” to the French star.
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Security had to intervene and fans were ejected after the first set, but the heckling didn’t stop there.
One Aussie spectator shouted at Norrie in the fourth set: “Come on, Cameron, you’re the world No. 12. Show the c–t.”
Lestienne grew more frustrated as the match went on and was given a time violation by the umpire and then refused to play a point, which led to even more heckling.
“This is all a bit awkward with spectators heckling Lestienne after he refused to play,” BBC commentator David Law said.
“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.”
During the next break, fans once again targeted Lestienne as they chanted “Constant’s going home”.
While the Frenchman couldn’t hide his frustration, Norrie was more laid back when asked about the interruption from the crowd.
“In the first set there was a lot of English fans actually,” Norrie said.
“They had the football chants going, which was good fun and then obviously they get kicked out. I could still hear them in the second set, like over there somewhere (at another court).
“It’s great obviously on one of the outside courts for them to stay around, support, watch and create an atmosphere, especially playing so late with it being cold and everything.”
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