At courtside


An unauthorised drone crashed into a section of empty seats at Louis Armstrong Stadium on Thursday night during a second-round US Open match between Flavia Pennetta and Monica Niculescu.

It caused a brief delay, and some fear and confusion.

"It was a little bit scary, I have to say, because with all the things happening now in the world, I imagine maybe it's a bomb," said Pennetta, the No. 26 seed from Italy.

"That was the first reaction. I think it's normal to think something like that."

The drone came screeching in from the east along the baseline where Pennetta was playing a point late in the second set. It made a loud noise, hit the corner of the seating and broke apart. There were no people in the area where it hit and no reported injuries.



Sam Stosur is discovering fame is fleeting and so are the perks that come with being a grand slam winner, even at Flushing Meadows where she was crowned US Open champion in 2011.

The toast of the Big Apple just four years ago, she has not exactly received a royal welcome back to New York. The Australian has been forced at times to take buses to the National Tennis Centre instead of chauffeured courtesy cars.

And when the 22nd seed did make it to Flushing Meadows on Wednesday, she was booted off a practice court by American darling and three-time defending champion Serena Williams.



World No. 1 Novak Djokovic played Cupid to help a close friend propose to his girlfriend at the US Open on the tournament's showpiece Arthur Ashe Stadium.

Djokovic was hitting with Germany's Tommy Haas while longtime friend Kirk Spahn watched from the sidelines and girlfriend Jenny Alden acted as umpire.

Once the session had stopped, Spahn climbed up the steps of the official's chair to place an engagement ring on her finger.

"Look what happened a few days ago on my practice session. I am very excited for you guys and glad I had a role in this wonderful surprise!" wrote Djokovic on his Facebook page on Thursday.

"Congratulations Kirk Spahn and Jenny."


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 05, 2015, with the headline 'At courtside'. Print Edition | Subscribe