The Courier-Mail

Bomb scare fear from drone crash

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ITALIAN tennis star Flavia Pennetta feared the worst when a drone crashed at the US Open during her night match at Flushing Meadows.

The drone crashed in an empty section of Louis Armstrong Stadium late in Pennetta’s 6-1, 6-4 secondroun­d win over Monica Niculescu of Romania.

“I feared the drone was a bomb,’’ Pennetta told www.tennisworl­ditalia.com.

“With all the news out there, I thought it was over. My team was so scared.”

The drone broke into pieces and the match was briefly interrupte­d while police and fire department personnel went to look at it.

“The chair umpire just wanted to wait for an OK from the police to be able to continue,’’ Pennetta said.

“Truthfully, I don’t think even they knew what it was.’’

US Open organisers said the incident was under investigat­ion. “No spectators were in the immediate area of the crash and there were no injuries,” a spokesman said.

There was a similar incident at Wimbledon in July as players warmed up for the Grand Slam in London.

Police were alerted to a man flying a drone over the All England Club from a nearby golf course in contravent­ion of British law, which says it is an offence to fly a drone within 50m of a structure.

Drones have become a security concern at major sporting events since October, when a Euro 2016 qualifier between Serbia and Albania ended with the match abandoned after a drone carrying a political banner was flown into the stadium, and players and fans clashed.

 ??  ?? UNWELCOME VISITOR: Part of the fallen drone.
UNWELCOME VISITOR: Part of the fallen drone.

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