Blake into third round after noisy encounter

James Blake of the U.S. returns to France's Sebastien De Chaunac during their match at the Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne January 22, 2009. REUTERS/Mick Tsikas

MELBOURNE (Reuters) - American James Blake eased into the third round of the Australian Open on Thursday with victory over French qualifier Sebastien de Chaunac though the match was marred by complaints about spectator noise.

Ninth-seeded Blake beat the 31-year-old de Chaunac 6-3 6-2 6-3 on Margaret Court Arena but the match was periodically disturbed by crowd noise with British chair umpire James Keothavong, asking them for silence on several occasions.

De Chaunac questioned several line calls throughout the match and was visibly agitated by the disturbances.

He even asked the umpire, the brother of British women’s number one Anne Keothavong, to ‘tell the guy in pink to be quiet’ in the third set.

James Keothavong duly obliged, though De Chaunac later confronted the spectator who was sitting courtside and spoke to him in French.

The spectator apologised and was later escorted away by security staff.