Andy Murray’s father-in-law Nigel Sears collapsed at the Australian Open – just weeks before his daughter Kim is due to give birth.
Sussex-based Sears, 58, fell ill during the third round match between Ana Ivanovic – who he coaches – and Madison Keys today.
He was treated by paramedics in the stands and then stretchered away with his shirt off and attached to an oxygen tank.
He is understood to have been conscious and alert as he was taken to hospital.
Murray was unaware of what had happened as he was playing on a neighbouring court. He was informed after his match by his mother, Judy, and went straight to the hospital.
Nigel Sears is carried out of the stands on a stretcher following his medical emergency on the Rod Laver Arena. Sears, father-in-law to British No 1 Andy Murray and coach of Ana Ivanovic, collapsed during Ivanovic’s Australian Open match with Madison Keys
Play was suspended while Sears was given medical assistance by paramedics in the stands of the Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne
Sears is carried away on a stretcher by medical personnel as spectators in the Rod Laver Arena anxiously look on
A stretcher is moved into position to carry Sears out of the stands at the Rod Laver Arena. He was conscious and alert when carried off
Paramedics from St John’s Ambulance administer treatment to Sears before he was carried away on a stretcher and taken to hospital
Murray’s team were kept abreast of developments but with Sears seemingly fine, did not feel the need to communicate the news to him.
When he left the court following his 6-2 3-6 6-2 6-2 victory against Portugal’s Joao Sousa, he was pulled aside by his mother and went directly to the hospital.
After his post-match on-court interview was cancelled, Murray was seen walking, with his racket bag over his shoulder and still in his tennis kit, towards the transportation area at Melbourne Park.
Murray’s post-match press conference was also cancelled.
His opponent said: ‘I just heard that Andy went direct to the hospital. Good thing is (Sears) is conscious, he’s speaking. So we hope there’s nothing bad and, of course, first is the family and the health, so I think it’s very good that Andy went there to be with him.’
Murray’s brother Jamie told reporters Sears, who has been taken to hospital for tests, was ‘conscious, talking and sitting up’.
Sears’ daughter Kim is not in Melbourne in support of her husband as she awaits the birth of their first child in a few weeks. Murray said he would return home and quit the tournament if she went into labour.
Chair umpire Felix Torralba explains the situation to Ivanovic (left) and Keys (right) as the match is suspended
Ivanovic looks on with concern as her coach is treated by paramedics in the stands. The players remained courtside for 10 minutes
Ivanovic (left) and Keys (right) leave the court after their Australian Open match was suspended, the delay lasting a total of 50 minutes
Ivanovic wears a worried expression as paramedics treat her coach Sears in the stands on Rod Laver Arena
Ivanovic was leading 6-4, 1-0 in the second set of the third round match when Sears appeared to fall while returning to his seat. She went on to lose 4-6 6-4 6-4 to the number 15 seed.
According to ESPN, Sears had told members of Ivanovic’s coaching team he had not been feeling well about a half hour before he collapsed.
Medical staff quickly arrived on the scene and the players remained courtside for around 10 minutes before being told to head to the locker room as the match was suspended indefinitely.
Ivanovic warmed up in an underground car park and play resumed almost an hour later. She was given the option of stopping play but wanted to continue.
It is the second time in three days Ivanovic’s match has been stopped. Her second-round match on Thursday was suspended for around 30 minutes after a spectator fell in the stands.
Sears (right), father of Kim (second right) and father-in-law to Andy Murray, collapsed while returning from the courtside players’ lounge
Sears poses with daughter Kim (left), Murray (centre) and the Wimbledon trophy after Andy’s triumph in 2013
Sears pictured courtside with daughter Kim at Flushing Meadows in New York during the 2011 US Open
Andy Murray, Sears’ son-in-law, was on a neighbouring court playing Joao Sousa at the time of the incident and remained unaware
When Murray left the court following his victory against Joao Sousa, he was pulled aside by his mother and seemed to leave the stadium
Murray was informed after his third round match by his mother Judy and appeared to walk straight out of the stadium
Sears, 58, is one of the best known coaches in the UK and has been Captain in the past of the British Fed Cup team, the equivalent of the Davis Cup for women.
He is in his second spell working with former French Open champion Ivanovic, who is the partner of Manchester United footballer Bastian Schweinsteiger.
Sears has an impressive CV that has seen him work with other top female players like South African Amada Coetzer and Daniela Hantuchova of the Czech Republic.
A statement by the Australian Open read: ‘A male in his 50s fell ill in Rod Laver Arena this evening. He was transported to hospital by ambulance.
‘The match was suspended and the players updated on his condition. The players had the opportunity to consult with their teams and then went back on court.
‘The players returned to the court at 8.40 pm.’
Ivanovic and Madison Keys leave the arena with their match suspended. They returned to resume their match nearly an hour later
Sears pictured with Ivanovic on the practice court during the Australian Open back in 2012