2016 Australian Open

Murray's dad-in-law discharged even as medics are kept busy

Medical staff use a stretcher to carry Nigel Sears from the stadium at the Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne on Jan 23, 2016.
Medical staff use a stretcher to carry Nigel Sears from the stadium at the Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne on Jan 23, 2016.PHOTO: AFP

MELBOURNE • Andy Murray's father-in-law Nigel Sears was cleared to leave hospital and fly home after collapsing at the Australian Open, as a bizarre string of medical emergencies continued yesterday.

In what will be a huge relief to Murray, Sears - Ana Ivanovic's coach - was given the all-clear following his collapse at Rod Laver Arena late on Saturday while watching the former women's No. 1 play.

It was one of a series of medical dramas at the season's first Grand Slam, with the mother of Australia's Sam Groth hurt after falling down some stadium stairs yesterday.

"I just wanted to express my sincerest thanks to the incredible people who came to my aid, as well as the brilliant staff both at the Australian Open and the Epworth Hospital," Britain's Sears, 58, said in a statement. "I feel truly grateful to everyone involved for the manner in which this has been handled."

It remains uncertain what the nature of his complaint was, as hospital officials cited patient confidentiality for not revealing the information. Witnesses said he appeared to receive mouth-to-mouth resuscitation before he was stretchered out of the centre court stadium and taken to hospital.

According to The Guardian, medics applied a defibrillator to him and gave him an ECG test in the ambulance on the way to the hospital, where he had further tests and then appeared to recover quickly.

Murray was playing on the neighbouring Margaret Court Arena unaware of the emergency. He rushed to see his father-in-law in hospital after coming off the court.

Reports said he spent the night at the hospital with Sears.

The Scot married Kim Sears, his long-term partner, last April and the couple are expecting their first child in the coming weeks.

The second seed was back on the practice courts yesterday.

Sears' collapse mirrored an incident which shook up Ivanovic during her third-round match, when an elderly spectator was badly hurt in a fall from the stairs in the same stadium.

Yesterday, Groth's mother fell down stairs in the Margaret Court Arena and needed attention from paramedics, causing a long delay during the second set of his third-round doubles match, Australia's Fairfax Media reported.

The incident punctuated Lleyton Hewitt and Groth's 4-6, 2-6 defeat by Vasek Pospisil and Jack Sock.

Earlier in the tournament, Australia's Bernard Tomic was also left shaken when a spectator suffered a seizure during his first-round match and had to be treated with an anti-allergy shot.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 25, 2016, with the headline 'Murray's dad-in-law discharged even as medics are kept busy'. Print Edition | Subscribe