A suspicious backpack left at the front entrance of the Tennis Center at Crandon Park led to a one-hour lockdown on the Sony Open grounds Tuesday night while police investigated. Miami-Dade Police dispatched a bomb squad shortly before 9 p.m., and they gave the all clear about 30 minutes later.
Pedestrians were not allowed to enter of leave the grounds until the bag was investigated. Motorists were prohibited from driving past in either direction, causing a huge traffic snarl that stretched across the Rickenbacker Causeway.
“Earlier this evening, a suspicious package was left unattended at the front gate,’’ according to a tournament statement. “For the safety of the public the Miami-Dade Police have set up a perimeter and cordoned off the area until the package can be secured. We apologize for any inconvenience, but the safety of the public must be placed first.’’
Fans at Stadium Court were oblivious, as they cheered top-ranked Serena Williams on to a 6-2, 6-2 win over Angelique Kerber. And a huge crowd was on hand to see the late match between top-ranked Spaniard Rafael Nadal and No. 14 Fabio Fognini of Italy.
Three-time champion Novak Djokovic drew an ovation from the crowd when he surrendered a point to Tommy Robredo in the third game of the second set. A linesman mistakenly called Robredo’s shot out, and when a review showed the ball was in, the point was ordered to be replayed.
Djokovic, who had no real shot at the ball, chose to give the point to his opponent.
It didn’t matter as he won 6-3, 7-5.
“I don’t want to talk about the nice gesture that I have done, I don’t like to talk about myself,’’ he said. “I let everyone else judge. But for me, that’s something that is absolutely normal if I judge that I couldn’t win the point, that I had no chance to get that ball back on the court, or if I see the ball is good, I’m going to tell him to challenge.
“It’s part of sport and fair play. I expect everybody else to do the same.’’
Andy Murray, ranked No. 6 in the world, and Djokovic will be meeting in the quarterfinals on Wednesday, and Murray is feeling confident despite coming back from back surgery in the offseason.
“I wasn’t making many mistakes,” Murray said after defeating Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 6-4, 6-1 on Tuesday. I was making it hard for him. You know, I was chasing everything down. My game is getting there. I mean the last six sets I played have been very high-level tennis.”
The two have played many times, but Murray, who lives less than 10 minutes from the Tennis Center at Crandon Park, considers that somewhat irrelevant.
“Whether I beat him the last time or he beat me the last three or four times, I don’t think it matters too much.”
The words didn’t match the face.
“I’m really disappointed with myself,” Stanislas Wawrinka said, but there was a slight smile on his face.
Wawrinka, 28, is the No. 3-ranked player in the world and he had just lost to No. 23 Alexandr Dolgopolov 4-6, 6-3, 6-1 on Tuesday.
Mitigating some of the pain of the loss is Wawrinka’s recent climb up the rankings and his winning of the 2014 Australian Open. Wawrinka, from Switzerland, gave Dolgopolov credit. “He’s a tough player. He’s really fast and he has a good forehand.”
Wawrinka’s next stop? “It’s time to go back home and focus on the Davis Cup,” he said.