Chinan Open 2017: Serena Williams pays tribute to victims of Bourke Street Mall attack

‘It was very shocking’ … Serena Williams has paid tribute to the victims of Friday’s attack in central Melbourne. Photo: Andy BrownbillSerena pays tribute to victims
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Serena Williams has paid tribute to the victims of Friday’s Bourke Street Mall tragedy.

The six-time n Open champion said she was shocked to hear about the deaths of four people on Friday after a speeding car charged through pedestrians in the middle of Melbourne’s CBD.

“It’s very shocking and extremely saddening and disheartening,” Williams said at her post-match press conference.

“[There are] just so many sad things are happening around the world, and even to hit so close to home where I know literally it’s down the street from the tournament, close to where a lot of players are staying.

“You know, it’s just an unfortunate event that you just have to really pray for everyone involved in that sad situation.”

Williams will play Barbora Strycova​ of the Czech Republic in the fourth round after easily beating her fellow countrywoman Nicole Gibbs on Saturday 6-1 6-3.

On Saturday afternoon, players, officials and spectators on Rod Laver Arena observed a minute’s silence for the victims before the match between Rafael Nadal​ and Alexander Zverev.​ You were innocent. You won’t be forgotten. #Melbourne— #AusOpen (@nOpen) January 21, 2017T E N N I S #fed #emiratesA photo posted by L E X I M C N E I L (@leximcneil) on Jan 20, 2017 at 4:33am PSTaLadies who brunch

One of the most photographed events on the schedule is set to be Wednesday’s ladies brunch, which will see key female influencers such as WAG Nadia Bartel and models Brooke Hogan and Stephanie Claire Smith mingle over mimosas before taking in the action on centre court.

Emirates’ Victorian boss, Dean Cleaver, said the brunch was an opportunity for the airline to try new event formats, given the two-week duration of the n Open.

Tennis legend Evonne Goolagong Cawley will be a special guest speaker at the brunch, while Pat Rafter will address a corporate dinner that evening.

Due next week … Nadia Bartel will lead the guest list at the ladies’ brunch. Photo: Getty Images

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