Police Nab Tennis Fan on Court at Rogers
Aug 5, 2004
MONTREAL - An 18-year-old Russian male who jumped onto the court to invite Wimbledon champion Maria Sharapova and Vera Zvonareva to dinner was stopped by security guards at the Rogers Cup tournament Thursday night.
Jim Anderson, head of security for the event, said the spectator was "a goofy kid" who intended no harm to the players.
The fan entered the court just as Zvonareva's three-set victory over Sharapova ended, and moved toward the players' courtside chairs. He was grabbed by guards before he could reach the players.
"He had something in his hand, which is why we were concerned," Anderson said.
It turned out to be a pen and two pieces of paper. The invitation included the phone numbers of the spectator and a friend in the stands along with an invitation to dinner — written in Russian — at a local Russian restaurant.
The spectator is a Montreal resident of Russian origin with no criminal history, Anderson said. His name was not released. He was banned from Uniprix Stadium, but no charges were filed.
"If he comes back, he'll be charged," Anderson said. "He knew he was doing something wrong, but he had never heard of Monica Seles. I think he understands fully now."
Former world No. 1 Seles was stabbed in the back on court by a spectator during a match in Hamburg, Germany, in 1993, suffering a serious wound.