2020 Australian Open - Day 5
2020 Australian Open - Day 5

Inside the Aus Open’s craziest moments

Just how observant were you during the opening week of the Australian Open?

While Serena Williams' exit and Roger Federer's epic against John Millman made headlines on the court, there was plenty happening behind the scenes that you may have missed.

From stunning meltdowns to drive-by sledges and feuding stars, recap the quirky moments from week one at Melbourne Park.

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NOW THOSE ARE SOME RED KNUCKLES

Through the first two rounds at Melbourne Park, you'd be hard pressed to find a bigger loser than Fabio Fognini. Or more accurately, Fabio Fognini's hand.

A fiery customer at the best of times, the Italian spent his first two rounds throwing right hands at his own racquet.

But despite the fact his knuckles were turning a concerning shade of red, it didn't stop him on the court.

Fognini pulled out back-to-back final set tiebreaker wins to ensure the battle scars weren't all for nothing.

Fabio Fognini's hand after his win over Jordan Thompson. Picture: Mark Stewart
Fabio Fognini's hand after his win over Jordan Thompson. Picture: Mark Stewart

NICK'S DRIVE-BY CLIP FOR RAFA

It would be fair to say Nick Kyrgios and Rafael Nadal are a long way off being best friends.

And their icy relationship won't be changing anytime soon following the Aussie's drive by sledge during his match against Gilles Simon.

The feistiness started when Kyrgios was left frustrated after being called for a time violation.

Traditionally one of the quickest players on the tour, he took the chance to roast Nadal, who is one of the slowest.

Kyrgios proceeded to break out a Rafa pre-service impression, right down to the classic wedgie pick.

The fun didn't end there though, with Simon later doing an impression of his own after also being given a time violation.

"I really don't care, I am here to play tennis," Nadal said when asked of the incident.

"Honestly, I don't care at all. If was funny, good. That's it."

WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU PACK LIGHT?

It's been a while since we've seen Ernests Gulbis make a run at a Grand Slam.

And clearly the Latvian was as surprised as anyone with his third round appearance.

With his ranking having dropped outside the top 150 in recent years, the 31-year-old is currently without a clothing sponsor.

Thinking he could get his gear sorted in Melbourne, he hit the Open with only one pair of shoes.

There was just one problem. Adidas size 11.5s are harder to find than you'd think.

"I called Adidas. They didn't have one model, not one, nothing," Gulbis said.

"So I had to call like 10, not 10, but maybe at least seven other stores, and only two stores had my shoe size.

"So I think I bought the last two pairs (in Melbourne)."

So panicked was Gulbis, at one stage he considered asking rival players if he could borrow some of their shoes.

'OH MY GOD. NEXT QUESTION'

It might be a new year but one thing that hasn't changed is Nick Kyrgios' lack of love for the media.

After his opening round win, the local favourite had no time for any curly questions from the press.

Q: There was a moment at the end of the match where you were cleaning out. I think you tossed away a banana. Was that just so the ballkids wouldn't have to do it?

Kyrgios: "You got to do better than that. C'mon now. Oh, my God. Is that a serious question?"

Q: Yes.

Kyrgios: "Oh my God. Next question."

Nick Kyrgios wasn’t in the mood for quirky questions. Picture: AFP Photo
Nick Kyrgios wasn’t in the mood for quirky questions. Picture: AFP Photo

SALTY SERENA'S 'RANDOM DRUG TESTING' SWIPE

On her way out from Melbourne Park, Serena Williams didn't miss a chance to score one final point.

During her post-match press conference, a clearly frustrated Williams was asked what was going through her mind as she left the court.

And the 23-time major champion used that question to take a swipe at "random drug testing".

"I don't know. I don't know actually. I think I was just thinking about getting to the locker room and press, "random drug testing", so…," she said.

Williams also did the air quote marks with her hands when saying "random drug testing".

It isn't the first time Williams has been left annoyed at the frequency she is target tested.

In 2018 she tweeted:

" … and it's that time of the day to get 'randomly' drug tested and only test Serena. Out of all the players it's been proven I'm the one getting tested the most. Discrimination? I think so. At least I'll be keeping the sport clean #StayPositive".

FEUD ERUPTS OVER INJURY TIMEOUT

The use of a good hashtag is sometimes underrated.

This was never more evident than in the spicy feud between Dayana Yastremska and Caroline Wozniacki.

The war of words started when Wozniacki accused her Ukranian opponent of faking an injury during their second round match in an attempt to disrupt the Dane's rhythm as she closed in on victory.

Yastremska's coach Sascha Bajin wasn't going to sit by and watch his charge cop that heat though, taking to Twitter to fire back at anyone suggesting the injury wasn't legitimate.

"Dayana was really struggling … with her leg, but since y'all are all doctors and coaches you know better then she herself or our whole team who's working with her," Bajin wrote.

He then added the perfect hashtag - #focusOnYourself

 

Dayana Yastremska during her injury timeout. Picture: Getty Images
Dayana Yastremska during her injury timeout. Picture: Getty Images

'I HATE TENNIS': STAR'S STUNNING MELTDOWN

American Reilly Opelka's campaign is over but not before the tallest player ever on the ATP Tour hurtled abuse at chair umpire Carlos Bernardes during a five-set loss to Fabio Fognini.

"Let me ask you something, real quick," Opelka said. "Quick tell me, how many f***ing times has he thrown his racquet and you've given him s**t.

"You're pathetic. You give me one warning after one throw. He's thrown his three or four times bro."

Opelka won the first two sets on Monday before rain stopped play. He did not win another.

Just before going under 6-3 7-3 (7-3), 4-6, 3-6, 6-7 (5-10) in 3hr 58 min, the American lashed his own player's box after putting a return into the bottom of the net.

"I hate tennis," Opelka shouted.

'YOUR GOOD FRIEND, MEGHAN MARKLE …'

After her opening round win, all eyes were on Serena Williams and her continued quest to break Margaret Court's major record.

However, you wouldn't know it based on the first question she copped in her opening press conference.

Question: "Your good friend, Meghan Markle, who attended your last two slams, and Harry, have taken a move, a stance that many people think is extraordinary and historic. What are your feelings about that? Have you spoken to her?"

Not surprisingly, Williams was having none of the question.

"Yeah. I have absolutely no comments on anything with that," she said.

"But good try. You tried. You did good."

Serena Williams had no time for Royal questions. Picture: Getty Images
Serena Williams had no time for Royal questions. Picture: Getty Images

REQUEST HAS FANS GOING BANANAS

ALL eyes were on French tennis player Elliot Benchetrit after the world No. 229 caused a stir in Australian Open qualifying by asking a ball girl to peel his banana.

Benchetrit, whose fingers on his right hand were heavily taped up, popped the question only to be scolded by chair umpire John Blom.

The Frenchman then attempted to peel the banana with his teeth.

Ball girls and boys are often asked to fetch water or towels during breaks but peeling fruit appeared to be a step too far.

IT WAS TECHNICALLY A TERRIBLE CALL

He was one of the favourites coming into the Open but it was a quick stay in Melbourne for Denis Shapovalov.

The Canadian young gun was bounced in the first round, but it was his exchange with the umpire which left a lasting impression.

After being given a code violation for racquet abuse, he tried to argue the matter, drawing on a technicality of the rule.

"I think that was a terrible call from the ref," Shapovalov said after his defeat.

"The rule from what I know is if I break my racquet you can code me, but you can't code me for slamming it.

"I'm not doing anything, it didn't impact anyone.

"The racquet was still intact, so he gave me a warning because I did it two or three times and I think that's not the way it works."

MORE TENNIS

Wild antics stoke up Kyrgios-Rafa feud

Aussie underdog heckled by home fans

'I have so much respect for you': Fed's classy message to Millman

WHY MILLMAN V FEDERER WAS TOUGH VIEWING

It was the epic encounter that is unlikely to be topped as the match of the Australian Open.

And even though the battle between John Millman and Roger Federer didn't finish until well past midnight, there wasn't a spare seat in the house on Rod Laver Arena.

However, not everyone was pleased with their view.

One punter drew the short straw, finding out their ticket was situated behind Collingwood footballer Mason Cox.

The big ruckman is 211cm - which made for some tough viewing for those behind him.

Luckily the fan saw the funny side of things.

 

 

Cox tweeted back to the fan this morning, offering his apology.



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