Wozniacki urges action on threatening fans

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MIAMI: Australian Open champion Caroline Wozniacki lashed out on Saturday (Sunday in Manila) at fans who threatened her family as she slumped to a three-set defeat by Monica Puig at the Miami Open on Friday.

In a Twitter post, the Danish star called on Miami Open organizers to act after fans threatened her parents and swore at the niece and nephew of her fiance, David Lee.

Caroline Wozniacki AFP PHOTO

“I am fully aware that tennis is a game of wins and losses,” Wozniacki said in her Twitter post.

“However, during the match last night people in the crowd threatened my family, wished death upon my mom and dad, called me names that I can’t repeat here and told my Fiancé’s niece and nephew (who are 10 years old) to sit down and shut the f— up.


“Meanwhile security and staff did nothing to prevent this and even accepted this to take place. While I always encourage fans to cheer for their favorite player, and I thrive on a challenging atmosphere, when certain lines are crossed, it makes tennis miserable for both competitors.

“I hope the Miami Open chooses to take this seriously because it’s a horrible example to set for the next generation of tennis players and fans,” she concluded.

Lee, who played 12 years in the NBA, also tweeted on Saturday, saying it was a “disgusting atmosphere” in Miami.

“Hope something can be done to prevent this from happening again!” he wrote.

Puerto Rico’s Puig, who won Olympic gold in Rio, failed to win a game in the first set but rallied to beat Wozniacki 0-6, 6-4, 6-4 in a tournament she calls her hometown event.

Tournament director James Blake said security personnel present at the match didn’t witness any threats and would have acted if they had.

“The security of the players is our No. 1 priority,” Blake said in a statement.

“Last night’s match between Caroline and Monica was played in front of a loud and passionate crowd. While I personally feel that no one should have to endure any sort of abuse on the court, we do our best to provide a safe and fair environment.

“During the match, we had tournament and WTA staff, as well as tournament security courtside. They never witnessed, nor were they notified of any specific threats made to the players or their families. If they had been notified, the situation would have been handled immediately.”

AFP

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