SECURITY guards rushed on court to protect Rafael Nadal and Daniil Medvedev after a protester ran on.
Nadal was serving for the second set at 5-3 but was break point down when the spectator jumped down on to the Rod Laver Arena behind Medvedev.
He was carrying a banner that read ‘Abolish Refugee Detention’.
But he was quickly captured and wrestled to the ground by security who swiftly averted the danger.
The man was then led away and evicted from the stadium amid boos from the remainder of the 15,000-strong crowd.
It was a distressing moment for the two players, who were surrounded by officials as they immediately sprung into action.
Nadal composed himself to save the break point after the brief stoppage in play.
But he lost his serve to allow his Russian opponent, who took the opener, back into the second set.
Tennis security was ramped up in 1993 following the horrible attack on then-world No1 Monica Seles.
An obsessed fan of Seles’ biggest rival Steffi Graf ran on at the change of ends and stabbed her in the back.
Seles, who won eight of the 11 Grand Slams before the attack, did not play for two years during her lengthy recovery and was unable to continue her dominance of the women’s game.
More to follow…