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Sunday, January 17, 2010
Fans denied entry after setting off flare

Associated Press

MELBOURNE, Australia -- Eleven fans were ejected from Melbourne Park for disruptive behavior and smuggling flares onto the grounds on the first morning of the Australian Open.

In another incident, police said a group of Croatian supporters were denied entry to the grounds Monday after setting off a flare.

Victoria Police Superintendent Jock Menzel said the 11 ejected people were standing on chairs and bothering spectators during the match between Croatia's Ivo Karlovic and Czech Radek Stepanek.

Menzel said he was not aware who they were supporting, and said the "people have been removed from the stadium and they're not welcome to return."

The incidents on the first day of the Australian Open recall tensions that erupted last year in a chair-throwing brawl between Serb and Croatian fans.