Court invader at Australian Open faces charges

By Ian Ransom

MELBOURNE (Reuters) - A man who invaded the Rod Laver Arena court at the end of the Australian Open semi-final between Briton Andy Murray and Croatian Marin Cilic Thursday night will face police charges.

A man wearing a shirt emblazoned with Croatian colors invaded the court just after the players finished their match and approached Cilic as he was preparing to shake the chair umpire's hand.

After shaking Cilic's hand, the man was intercepted and escorted off court.

Cilic later played down the incident, but the embarrassing security breach has thrown the spotlight on security at the Australian grand slam.

The man, 22, from Melbourne, would be "charged on summons with disrupting proceedings and unauthorized entry to an arena," a police spokesman said in a statement Friday.

Tennis Australia described the incident as "a major breach of security and completely unsatisfactory."

A man was charged after he invaded the court at Arthur Ashe stadium at the U.S. Open last year to kiss Spain's Rafa Nadal on the cheek.

(Editing by Patrick Johnston)