Murray's father-in-law collapses at Australian Open
Medical drama as Murray's father-in-law and Ivanovic's coach collapses in stands
World No. 2 Andy Murray beat Portugal's Joao Sousa in four sets to reach the Australian Open fourth round yesterday, apparently unaware of a medical drama involving his father-in-law on the adjacent court.
The four-time finalist wore down the 33rd-ranked Sousa to win 6-2, 3-6, 6-2, 6-2 in two hours and 38 minutes, while Nigel Sears, father of his heavily pregnant wife, Kim, needed emergency medical treatment.
Sears, who is also the coach of Ana Ivanovic, collapsed at the Rod Laver Arena during Ivanovic's match with Madison Keys and needed emergency treatment as the shocked players and thousands of fans looked on.
The match was halted for just under an hour as the British coach was stretchered away before Serbia's 20th seed Ivanovic bravely resumed play - only to lose 4-6, 6-4, 6-4 to a 15th-seeded Keys.
The 58-year-old Sears was later taken by ambulance to hospital and was said to be in a conscious state.
A stadium announcer later told the crowd at Rod Laver Arena that Sears was conscious and sitting up.
"He's okay," he said, in an announcement that was greeted with applause.
Murray, Ivanovic and Keys all cancelled their post-match press conferences and the men's world No. 2 left the Margaret Court Arena without doing the usual post-match on-court interview as he was understood to have gone to the hospital to see Sears.
Witnesses said Murray was met by his mother Judy upon leaving the court.
He later released some comments about his match, saying he had struggled to put away the tigerish Sousa.
"I thought I struggled. At the beginning, he was extremely aggressive, very intense," Murray said.
"It was tricky. I didn't feel great, I wasn't in a great rhythm and I wasn't hitting the ball clean at the start.
"He was hitting the ball great, close to the lines and making me do a lot of running."
Murray has progressed to the Round of 16 in Melbourne for the eighth straight year with the win stretching his record over Sousa to 7-0.
He will play the winner of the all-Australian clash between Bernard Tomic and John Millman in the fourth round.
The Scot is projected to face either David Ferrer or John Isner if he makes the quarters and possibly either Milos Raonic or Stan Wawrinka in the semi-finals.
Meanwhile, French Open champion Wawrinka notched his 400th win at Tour level yesterday to set up a last-16 clash with Raonic, who is in mourning for victims of a Canadian high school shooting.
Wawrinka, who won his first Grand Slam title in Melbourne two years ago, wielded his signature one-handed backhand to devastating effect against Lukas Rosol as he rolled the Czech 6-2, 6-3, 7-6 (7/3).
The Swiss fourth seed now meets Canadian Raonic, who was fired by his grief over the high school shooting, as he overwhelmed Victor Troicki 6-2, 6-3, 6-4.
"Today's victory was for that community and a quick recovery. All of Canada, and I'm sure the world, is behind you," said an emotional Raonic, who was close to tears as he addressed the crowd after his match.
Montenegro-born Raonic, who moved to Canada as a child, later explained that thoughts of the tragedy, which left four dead in a remote community, had given him enormous intensity as he played Troicki.
"Maybe to me today's match really sort of mattered heavily and I would do everything I can to find a way to win," he said.
"But, at the end of the day, to be in that situation - there are four people who will never go back to school again.
"That's just far bigger than whatever thing I could have done on court today. It's especially difficult, when it's such a small community and it's a tragedy that's from within a certain group of people, most likely."