Brawl Erupts at US Open, Stopping Play

Action goes beyond the court

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    NEWSLETTERS

    A brawl between fans in the stands Thursday night briefly stopped a match between Novak Djokovic and Philipp Petzschner at the U.S. Open. (Published Saturday, Sep 4, 2010)

    Who says only football fans get rowdy?

    A brawl between fans in the stands Thursday night briefly stopped a match between Novak Djokovic and Philipp Petzschner at the U.S. Open.

    Witnesses say the fisticuffs -- which you can see in the videos above and below -- started when a female fan told a young man he should stop using the F-word. He challenged her to hit him if she had a problem with his language, and she slapped him in the face.

    After more jawing, an older man pulled the woman away. The younger man sat down, appearing to end the incident. Instead, the older man walked up to the younger man, who stood back up, and reached for his head. The two tumbled over a row of seats.

    The younger man started to walk away, but the woman followed him and appeared to slap him again. He pushed her back, before other spectators separated the two. Eventually, security guards arrived and escorted the three out of the stadium.

    As a result, officials said all three of the brawlers have been banned from the Open for the next two years -- the next match they will be able to attend would be in 2013.

    Djokovic won in straight sets. He then joked that he hoped the fight didn't involve anyone from his native Serbia.