Some tennis fans at the Australian Open on Sunday booed when an official mentioned the roll-out of an anti Covid-19 vaccine.
It occurred during the awards ceremony after the mens final on Sunday night, when one of the speakers referred to the global vaccine roll-out as a symbol of hope.
That drew catcalls and jeers from a section of the spectators, which promoted a scathing response from the country’s deputy Prime Minister who labelled their behaviour as disgusting.
Like many countries, Australia has a vocal minority who are opposed to the vaccine programme. On Saturday there were small demonstrations against it in Melbourne, Sydney, and a number of other cities, although they passed off without violence.
It was not lost on some that listening to the boos was the winner of the final, Novak Djokovic, who has attracted his own fair share of criticism for his laissez-faire attitude to the pandemic in the past, and the extreme views posted on social media by he, and his wife, Jelena.
It was Djokovic who organised the ill-fated Adri Exhibition Tour in the Balkans last year during lockdown, which ended when a number of players and coaches, and their families, including Djokovic himself, contracted Covid.
Also coming in for their share of derision from the crowd was the local state government of Victoria.
They imposed a snap five-day lockdown last week, after a local surge in new infections. It meant that, in the middle of the tournament, matches had to be played behind closed doors again until the restrictions were lifted.
Earlier in the week, Djokovic had expressed the opinion that he thought many players would choose to opt out of tournaments if forced to undergo the strict quarantine conditions they were forced to undergo ahead of the Australian Open. They were confined to their hotel rooms for 14 days, in many cases not allowed to leave for any reason.
Tennis Australia might argue though that it worked. No players or coaches appear to have caught the virus in the course of the tournament.