Collapse of Murray's father-in-law sours Briton's day

Sat Jan 23, 2016 9:23am EST
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By Ian Ransom

MELBOURNE (Reuters) - The Australian Open tennis championships were rocked late on Saturday when Andy Murray's father-in-law Nigel Sears collapsed during a match at Rod Laver Arena, overshadowing the world number two's advance to the fourth round.

Sears, the coach of former French Open champion Ana Ivanovic, collapsed while watching the Serb's third-round clash against Madison Keys, prompting medical staff to rush to the 58-year-old's aid.

Adding to the surreal atmosphere at Melbourne Park, Briton Murray was oblivious to the unfolding drama as he battled Portugal's Joao Sousa in the neighboring Margaret Court Arena. .

Play was suspended for an hour at Rod Laver Arena, as Sears received treatment before being fitted with breathing apparatus and carried from the stadium on a stretcher.

He was taken to hospital for further treatment and was being examined by a cardiologist, organizers said.

A teary-eyed Ivanovic was eventually led back to center court to continue her match against Keys and although the Serb fought hard she fell 4-6 6-4 6-4.

"Obviously it was a tough match," Ivanovic said in a statement after declining post-match media commitments.

"I really wanted to win and have a chance to come back... Obviously a little bit disappointed."   Continued...

Nigel Sears, coach of Serbia's Ana Ivanovic, is carried away on a stretcher after he collapsed during Ivanovic's third round match against Madison Keys of the U.S., causing play to be suspended, at the Australian Open tennis tournament at Melbourne Park, Australia, January 23, 2016. REUTERS/Brandon Malone