Greek tennis fans who came under fire from tennis chiefs over their boisterous behaviour, say they will continue to bring their loud antics to the Open.
Greek tennis fans who came under fire from tennis chiefs over their boisterous behaviour, say they will continue to bring their loud antics to the Open.

Why Greek tennis fans are refusing to be silenced

Greek tennis fans have appealed to Australian Open chiefs to let them roar as they put their passion on show at Melbourne Park.

A large contingent of fans with Greek heritage have vowed to get loud at the Grand Slam as Athens-born world number six Stefanos Tsitsipas hits the court.

After ejecting boisterous Greek fans evicted from the Open on Wednesday night, organisers have warned supporters they must show respect as well as spirit in the stands.

But fans bound for the tennis said they were just wearing their hearts on their sleeves and should be allowed to get vocal.

Cretan Brotherhood of Melbourne and Victoria youth President John Leventis said they would bring the noise again today.

Some Greek fans say they continue to bring loud, boisterous and passionate antics to the Australian Open. Picture: Alex Coppel.
Some Greek fans say they continue to bring loud, boisterous and passionate antics to the Australian Open. Picture: Alex Coppel.

"I think it's something we are all about - being loud and boisterous and showing passion that way, which is a bit of a tradition for us," he said.

"It's good to see people getting around it and showing some passion, making it as lively as possible, which is a good thing.

"You're going to get those few people every now and then that are going to make a bit of noise, be the larrikin and be a bit disruptive, but I don't think that's coming from our group."

 

 

Tsitsipas has drawn plenty of green tennis fans to his games.
Tsitsipas has drawn plenty of green tennis fans to his games.

Australian Open director Craig Tiley said police and ­security experts would ­"ensure the safety of everyone attending the tennis".

"Passionate fans are a big part of the Australian Open and the players enjoy the ­enthusiastic support they ­receive in Melbourne," he said. "We encourage all our fans to be respectful of others.

 

Stefanos Tsitsipas said Greek fans needed to “be more respectful to the opponents”
Stefanos Tsitsipas said Greek fans needed to “be more respectful to the opponents”

"We are an inclusive event and won't tolerate anti-social behaviour."

As he practised yesterday ahead of tonight's third-round clash with Milos Raonic, Tsitsipas soaked up the support of fans.

But he said this week they "should be a little bit more ­respectful to the opponents".

Greek Community of Melbourne president Bill Papastergiadis said Tsitsipas had "captured the hearts and minds of all of us".

Mr Leventis said the ejected fans meant no trouble.

"They're all pretty good kids and they are just loving having a Greek they can be proud of," he said.

peter.rolfe@news.com.au

@rolfep