A man who is presumed to have been given press privilege for the 2024 Australian Open men's final landed in hot water after trespassing the tournament's policies.
Jannik Sinner battled back from two sets to love down to beat Daniil Medvedev and win his first Grand Slam last Sunday. The 22-year-old became the first Italian to win the Australian Open and has now emerged as a ready-made contender to win even more.
But moments before the final, Sinner winds up his final prep backstage, where a slew of photographers, reporters, and tournament officials tend to take one customary check of proceedings before the players walk out in front of rapturous applause.
One man believed to be a journalist went out of line and asked for a selfie with Sinner. To his surprise, Sinner felt obliged to give this person his unforgettable moment, but not before security personnel intervened and instantly wrestled away his accreditation badge.
It is unclear whether his access to the premises was revoked or if his phone was seized and was asked to delete the photo, but the incident was captured by backstage cameras, and the man could be seen being wheeled away from the scene.
Sinner was clearly confused as he was just getting ready to lift his bags and walk onto the court. Tennis journalists are prohibited from asking for selfies with tennis players before the press conferences, let alone before walking out to the court.
This is usually a customary reminder made by the moderator before the press conference begins. So, for a supposed journalist or an official to ask for a selfie before a Grand Slam final is completely unheard of and out of line. Tennis fans have since shared their dumbfounded reactions on Reddit.
"Sinner was so taken aback it took him two whole sets to get his mind right," one user wrote. While another praised the security officer, who quickly stepped in, "Well, he deserved it...He was there to work, he had that badge to fulfill a task, not for using that privilege to have a selfie. Good for the AO worker who took him out."
Sinner must surely have forgotten that moment because he would recover from a two-sets-to-love deficit to hand Medvedev his third Australian Open final defeat in four years.