MELBOURNE: A protester jumped on to the court and interrupted play at a crucial stage of the Australian Open men's singles final between Russian world number two Daniil Medvedev and Rafa Nadal of Spain at Melbourne Park on Sunday (Jan 30).
Security officials promptly made a human shield around the players as some others dragged the person, who appeared to carry a banner reading "abolish refugee detention", off the court at the Rod Laver Arena.
Nadal was attempting to save a break point while serving at 5-3 up in the second set as the person fell awkwardly from the stands behind Medvedev's end of the court, halting play for a few minutes.
The Spaniard, who is chasing a 21st Grand Slam title, went on to lose the game and the second set in a tiebreaker.
Earlier this month, protesters criticised Australia's harsh asylum policies when top-ranked Novak Djokovic was held in an immigration detention hotel after his visa was revoked on his arrival at Melbourne.
The Serbian was eventually deported from the country after a court upheld the government's decision to cancel his visa, capping days of drama over Australia's COVID-19 entry rules and his unvaccinated status.