Health scare as Murray's father-in-law collapses

A worried Ana Ivanovic looking towards her box as medical staff tended to her collapsed coach Nigel Sears.
A worried Ana Ivanovic looking towards her box as medical staff tended to her collapsed coach Nigel Sears.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

MELBOURNE • Andy Murray's father-in-law Nigel Sears collapsed in the stands at the Australian Open yesterday, and was taken to hospital, conscious but injured, while the world No. 2 was still playing his fourth-round match against Joao Sousa on a nearby court.

Sears was watching his player, the former women's world No. 1 Ana Ivanovic, against the American Madison Keys on Margaret Court Arena when he fell heavily.

ESPN reported there was "a massive pool of blood" where he collapsed in the interval after the first game of the second set.

Ivanovic was alerted to movement in the stands, and looked up to her box where she saw medical staff gathering. "I think it's my coach," she was heard to say on the courtside microphone.

The chair umpire suspended play, and the news got through on social media to Murray's court.

The British captain, Leon Smith, was seen passing Murray's mother Judy a phone which apparently had a message on it about developments next door.

There was immediate consternation evident in Murray's box but it did not appear the player - who is awaiting the arrival of his first child with Sears' daughter, Kim - was aware of the incident.

"Ana knew Nigel had similar episodes before," Pam Shriver said courtside for ESPN.

Medics applied a defibrillator and carried him away on a stretcher. Play was suspended, but resumed after 50 minutes.

When she returned Ivanovic had a smile on her face, encouraging the view that Sears, with whom she reunited last year after the two worked together between 2011 and 2013, was recovering.

However, there was nothing much for Ivanovic to smile about her match though, as the Serb lost 6-4, 4-6, 4-6 to Keys in the third round.

Coincidentally, it was Ivanovic's second match in a row interrupted by a medical emergency. She was left badly shaken when an elderly spectator fell on a flight of stairs during her second-round match in the same arena on Thursday.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on January 24, 2016, with the headline 'Health scare as Murray's father-in-law collapses'. Print Edition | Subscribe