Nigel Sears, coach of Ana Ivanovic and father-in-law of Andy Murray, was rushed to hospital after collapsing at Rod Laver Arena on Saturday night.
Sears was taken from Melbourne Park in an ambulance, having fallen ill while watching Ivanovic’s third-round Australian Open match against Madison Keys.
Sears was undergoing tests, but in good enough shape to ask for a TV so he could watch Ivanovic’s three-set loss to Keys.
Murray, whose wife Kim Sears has stayed home and is due to give birth in February, was initially oblivious to the situation. The second seed only learned of the incident after beating Portugal’s Joao Sousa in four sets on Margaret Court Arena.
“I just heard that Andy went direct to hospital. The good thing is he (Sears) is good, he’s conscious and speaking,” Sousa said.
“So we hope there’s nothing bad and of course family and health comes first.
“So it’s very good Andy went there to him.”
Murray has previously said he plans to put family first and leave Melbourne mid-tournament should Kim Sears go into premature labour.
Sousa noted he and Murray had no idea that play stopped for almost an hour on centre court after Sears was loaded onto a stretcher.
“No. The crowd was pumped at our match, they were screaming,” the Portuguese 32nd seed said.
“It’s kind of weird. We are competing and trying to give our best to win, on court you don’t realise this kind of thing (could happen).”
Murray, Ivanovic and Keys all cancelled their post-match press conferences.
All three released written statements about their matches, but none referenced Sears’ collapse and hospitalisation.
“It was a tough match. I played so well,” Ivanovic said after losing d a 4-6 6-4 6-4.
Ivanovic was visibly concerned after the incident and showed immense mental strength to return to court, let alone threaten to take control of a topsy-turvy tussle.
The 2008 Open runner-up held a 3-1 lead in the third set, but Keys immediately broke back in an epic 12-point game.
Keys saved 12 of 16 break points as momentum shifted regularly in the match.
Absorbing as the contest was, the result was very much a secondary concern for Ivanovic and Open staff.
“The match was suspended and the players updated on his condition. The players had the opportunity to consult with their teams and then went back on court,” Open organisers said in a statement.
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