Running repairs to court to cause delays at Australian Open

Unusual problems with a court interrupted Australian Open play for the second day running on Saturday as a workman made repairs.

World number four Robin Soderling’s third round match was held up for about 10 minutes after his opponent Jan Hernych discovered a soft spot near the tramlines at Melbourne Park’s Hisense Arena.

After the umpire and other officials inspected the area, a workman with a drill and a mallet punctured some holes in the court’s blue surface before play continued.

The interruption comes just a day after Maria Sharapova noticed a "pretty big bubble" in the same court, which is covered in a Plexicushion hardcourt surface.

When the umpire dropped a tennis ball on the spot, it didn’t bounce.

"Maybe it was comical to you. Wasn’t really comical to us. We warmed up and had to sit and wait for a while," Sharapova said afterwards.

"All of a sudden I looked down and there was a pretty big bubble there. I mentioned it to the umpire and she said she would make a call."