An “embarrassing” display from Australian Open fans who booed an endorsement for vaccination has left a stain on the final.
Chairwoman and Board President of Tennis Australia, Jayne Hrdlicka, came under the firing line of fans at Rod Laver Arena after calling for “optimism” surrounding vaccination rollouts for the coronavirus.
Hrdlicka, who was speaking after Novak Djokovic’s record ninth Australian Open title win tonight, took the time to thank fans and organisers before things took a turn for the worst.
The Tennis Australia president copped a barrage of boos when she endorsed vaccination rollouts across the globe.
“The last 12 months have been exceptional circumstances for everybody around the world,” she said.
“It’s been a time of heartfelt challenge, deep loss and extraordinary sacrifice for everyone.
“With vaccinations on the way, rolling out in many countries around the world, it’s now a time for optimism and hope for the future.”
Despite the boos, her comments drew widespread support among fans on social media, with some labelling the reaction from the Rod Laver Arena fans as “disheartening” and “embarrassing.”
Hrdlicka continued to speak and thank organisers of the event before the boos continued when she paid tribute to the Victorian government for their cooperation this summer.
The chairwomen at the end of her speech said she was speaking to a group of “opinionated” fans as she walked off the stage.
“You are a very opinionated group of people,” she said.
“Whether you’re at home or here tonight, we’re really thankful you’re here and looking forward to seeing you next year.”