September 03, 2010
Love means nothing to these tennis fans.
A fight in the upper deck at Arthur Ashe Stadium briefly delayed the featured night match between Novak Djokovic and Philipp Petzschner on Thursday night. During the first set, Djokovic paused before a serve when he heard a commotion going on above him. Television cameras quickly focused on the aftermath of a fight near the top of the stadium, with security personnel already on the scene.
Fantastically, the fight itself was caught on video and quickly posted to YouTube:
The New York Times reports that the altercation started pretty much as you'd expect: with the younger guy being loud, crude and obnoxious. No mention of alcohol was made in the Times piece, but it's not a huge leap to make. We've all seen those sorts of fans at games before.
As the story goes, the younger man was cursing and the woman told him to stop. Witnesses said he said something along the lines of "why don't you hit me if you don't like it" and, to his amazement, the woman did. (That's not in the clip above, but is shown in the clip at the bottom of this post). This video starts immediately after the initial hit, which is shown in the AP photo at the top of this post.
Djokovic was asked about the fight after his straight set win. "It was far away from the court; we couldn't really see what was going on," he said. "I hope it was no Serbian up there."
Update: A new angle of the fight has been posted and this one features the initial punch. (Warning: Clip contains profanity.)
Two things are clear: First, judging by the reaction of the fans, the guy had it coming. Second, security at Arthur Ashe Stadium must have been enthralled by Djokovic-Petzschner because they sure weren't quick on the scene.