Saturday night turned into an eventful time at the Australian Open when Nigel Sears, Ana Ivanovic’s coach, collapsed and lost consciousness as he was trying to leave the player’s box. It was a frightening moment for everyone, but the good news is that he is expected to be discharged from the hospital on Sunday.
The 58-year-old coach is said to have improved since then after being put through a bunch of tests. His team of doctors have given him the okay to leave the hospital and also to be able to fly back home in a day or two, according to ESPN. Officials at the Australian Open released this statement directly from Nigel.
“My medical advice is that I will be allowed to leave the hospital shortly, and I have been cleared to fly back to the UK in the next day or so. I just wanted to express my sincerest thanks to the incredible people who came to my aid, as well as the brilliant staff both at the Australian Open and the Epworth Hospital. I feel truly grateful to everyone involved for the manner in which this has been handled. While I appreciate the level of media interest in this story I would prefer not to comment any further, thanks.”
This all happened during the match between Ana Ivanovic and Madison Keys as they were playing in the third round at the Australian Open. The girls were just about midway through when a commotion was seen taking place in the stands. Play had to be stopped and as Ivanovic looked up, she realized that there was a good chance the person that was seeking medical care was her coach. After 10 minutes of waiting it out, the match was then suspended indefinitely.
Nigel had complained about not feeling well right before the start of the match. He was trying to leave the player’s box at the time, but ended up falling down and hitting his head. He immediately received medical care and was whisked off to the Australian hospital.
— Live Tennis (@livetennis) January 23, 2016
After Ivanovic got word that her coach was conscious and being well taken care of, she and Madison Keys chose to finish their match. The American was trailing 6-4, 1-0, but she ended up making a comeback and won the third round match at 4-6, 6-4, 6-4.
Nigel Sears is also the father-in-law to Andy Murray. The tennis player was also battling it out on Margaret Court arena without being aware of what was happening. Andy’s mother, Judy Murray, may have gotten word while she was watching her son play, but Andy wasn’t told of the situation until he finished the Australian Open match. As reported by the Daily Mail, Andy’s brother, Jamie, had given reporters a quick update saying that Sears was “conscious, talking and sitting up.”
After he claimed a 6-2, 3-6, 6-2, 6-2 victory over Joao Sousa at the Australian Open, Andy was told of the situation and was taken immediately to be by Nigel’s side.
Andy’s wife and Nigels Sears’ daughter, Kim Sears Murray, is back in the U.K., about ready to give birth to her and Andy’s first child. The baby is due in February, and she did not travel with her husband to the Australian Open. However, she may have been watching everything unfold on her television screen.
There was nothing said about Sears by any of the players, except for Sousa, who commented on the incident that occurred while he was playing his son-in-law.
“I just heard that Andy went direct to the hospital. Good thing is, [Sears] is conscious, he’s speaking. So we hope there’s nothing bad, and, of course, first is the family and the health, so I think it’s very good that Andy went there to be with him.”
Ana Ivanovic reunited with Nigel Sears just last year. They seem to work well together and he was working hard on getting the Serbian’s gameplay to where it should be. Now Sears will be heading home to rest and is expected to be back on the tennis courts with Ivanovic to get her ready for the rest of the season, as long as his health continues to improve.
— WTA (@WTA) January 23, 2016
It was a hard loss for Ana Ivanovic at this year’s Australian Open, but more importantly, she is thankful for Nigel’s quick recovery. It was also a strange win for Madison Keys. Under the difficult and emotional circumstances surrounding the match, she pulled it off and has moved on to the round of 16.
Many well wishes go out to Nigel Sears for a speedy recovery.
[Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images]