Those Australian Open tennis match crowds can really get out of control, and extremely anti-social, what with all that shouting and cheering and clapping...and shouting and cheering.
Obviously, there was no option but to unleash powerful jets of pepper spray into a crowd of mostly calm people who then bolted for the exits, placing the lives of dozens of people at risk. At least six children are believed to have been maced in the internationally embarrassing display of 'zero tolerance'.
Says one of the players, who witnessed the unbelievable scenes from the court:
Fellow player Fernando Gonzales, was reportedly the one to whom a rail of abuse was hurled from someone in the crowd, who was then confronted by police, and told he had to leave. When his friends asked why, the police moved in and maced the crowd. Gonzales says a bit of verbal abuse now and then is no big deal, and he's used to it.
"It was full of people who were cheering and looked like they were enjoying the tennis and it was a really nice atmosphere."
The pepper sprayed children should count themselves lucky. Soon, police might be reaching for tasers instead of just the mace.
Gonzalez said he had never seen police use pepper spray before at a tennis tournament.
...the Chilean said, while the crowd was noisy and one Greek fan was abusive to him in Spanish, he was not overly insulted by anything said.
"They say a few things, but it's part of the crowd," Gonzalez said.
"Only one (offensive) thing (was said) in Spanish, but it's nothing that bad. I mean, they're fans ... it was very noisy, but also was the Chileans.
"It was really fun for them. It was a lot of Chileans and a lot of Greeks too.
"But, for me, it's fun to play like that. It's like a Davis Cup match. I think the people enjoy it."