Police eject 150 fighting tennis fans from Australian Open
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Police reported that up to 150 fighting fans were ejected from Melbourne Park as rival Serbian and Croatian tennis supporters clashed on opening day of the Australian Open.
Officials played down the unprecedented incident which occurred after eyewitness reports of Serbians jeering Croatians in the stands on an outside court watching a match won by ninth-seeded Croatian Mario Ancic.
Police said that the two groups of fans began hurling bottles and beer cups at each other in the Garden Square section of Melbourne Park. Up to 40 officers and security personnel quickly moved to break up the battles.
Police sought to play down the incident, saying that they moved quickly isolate the ringleaders. They were to meet with Tennis Australia officials to determine what steps might be needed to prevent similar incidents.
The countries, both once part of the Serbia-dominated former Yugoslavia, fought a war in the early 1990s, with Croatia proudly earning independence.
Since then, the new European nation has gone onto consistent sporting glory, including winning the 2005 Davis Cup. Serbia, with Top 20 players Novak Djokovic, Jelena Jankovic and Ana Ivanovic, has begun crashing the tennis party.