A singer-songwriter who was mocked for the ‘worst national anthem ever’ at the Australian Open is a doctor who helped fight coronavirus on the front line.
Gordi, whose name is Sophie Payten, quit her resident junior doctor position at Prince Of Wales Hospital, in Sydney, in June 2020, planning to tour for her new album.
But as the coronavirus pandemic swept the nation, Gordi hit pause on her music schedule to assist on the front line as a doctor.
On Sunday night, she took to Rod Laver Arena at Melbourne Park to perform Advance Australia Fair before the Grand Slam final.
But she was quickly subjected to online backlash for her performance, which included her accidentally singing the outdated lyrics of ‘young and free’ not ‘one and free’.
Novak Djokovic went on to secure a ninth Australian Open win and 18th Slam as he outclassed Daniil Medvedev in straight sets in front of a 7,500-strong crowd.
Gordi, whose name is Sophie Payten, recently took a break from her musical career to work in Australia on the Covid-19 frontline as a medical doctor (pictured)
‘The worst Australian anthem ever. Where’s the passion?,’ one person said.
‘Are there no singers in Australia? Why such ridiculous and disappointing delivery of the Australian anthem at a big event,’ another quipped.
The 28-year-old singer spent her 20s balancing her growing music career with medicine after studying to become a doctor.
She told NME in June she was focusing more on her music but would still work as a doctor to help alleviate stress on Australia’s healthcare system during the pandemic.
‘I’d welcome the opportunity to go back for bits at a time,’ she said.
‘But I’ve spent the last eight years of my life doing both music and medicine at a million miles an hour – it’s pretty damn nice for once in my life to just focus on music.’
Gordi was on call in Victoria as a deadly second wave of coronavirus infections ripped through the state.
Singer Gordi performed the national anthem prior to the Australian Open men’s singles final between Novak Djokovic of Serbia and Daniil Medvedev of Russia
Gordi (Sophie Payten) poses for a portrait during a media preview of the exhibition ‘Maton: Australia’s Guitar’ at the Powerhouse Museum in Sydney, Thursday, July 23, 2020
‘If Covid clinics open up, I’m on the first response team in Victoria, which means if a whole department gets Covid at a hospital, they’ll fly in this cover team for two weeks,’ she explained at the time.
Gordi also documented her work on the front line on her Instagram page, where she usually posted about recording music and tour dates.
‘Recently I’ve kind of been the medical equivalent of gap filler,’ she wrote to her Instagram September.
‘Victorian hospitals are having huge numbers of staff being furloughed – meaning because they’ve had exposure to Covid-19, they have to go and isolate for two weeks.
‘This means huge staff shortages so I’ve been filling the gaps where I can.
‘Healthcare workers are stressed and working outside of their comfort zone.’
She also marked Christmas by sharing a picture of her dressed in her scrubs, writing: ‘Merry Christmas Queens thnx for everything’.
The performance was ridiculed on social media, with one calling it ‘disappointing’ and others ‘the worst Australian anthem ever’
Gordi also documented working on the frontline on her Instagram page, where she would usually post about recording music and tour dates
Before her performance, Gordi revealed it would be the first time she had ever sung the national anthem at a major event.
‘Last time I sang the national anthem in front of a crowd it was to perhaps 30 people in Canowindra’s Morris Park when I was 11,’ she wrote online.
In a small step up I will be performing the anthem at the Australian Open men’s and women’s final this weekend. Hazaar.’
The lyrics of Advance Australia Fair were recently amended by Prime Minister Scott Morrison, changing from ‘for we are young and free’ to ‘for we are one and free’.
The pre-match entertainment at the Australian Open men’s singles final on Sunday night included a performance from the cast of the musical Come From Away (pictured)
Twitter users reacted to the Australian Open entertainment, with some saying it was ‘the weirdest closing ceremony/show ever’
Before the Australian Open, Gordi (pictured) took to social media to reveal ‘Last time I sang the national anthem in front of a crowd it was to perhaps 30 people in Canowindra’s Morris Park when I was 11’
The national anthem followed on from a performance of ‘Welcome to the Rock’ from the cast of the musical Come From Away.
The musical tells the true story of thousands of stranded passengers who were welcomed in a small town in Canada, but viewers were baffled by the odd choice of musical performance before a tennis match.
‘Welcome to the weirdest closing ceremony/show ever,’ one person wrote on Twitter.
Another said: ‘I’m all for supporting the arts, but the Come From Away performance was bloody jarring ahead of the Australian Open’.
Gordi is seen at Melbourne Park ahead of her national anthem performance
Sunday’s finals showdown was also marred by two women being ejected from the venue by security after interrupting play.
One of the women was wearing a t-shirt which said ‘free them all’ on the front and ‘end systemic racism’ on the back.
The controversy continued during the trophy presentation, with the local crowd choosing to boo throughout Tennis Australia chair Jayne Hrdlicka’s entire speech.
When Ms Hrdlicka mentioned the vaccine rollout in Australia, the booing grew louder.
The crowd continued to boo as she thanked the Victorian Government.
‘You are a very opinionated group of people, but whether you’re at home or here tonight, we are really thankful that you’re here. We look forward to seeing you next year,’ Ms Hrdlicka finished her speech.
Novak Djokovic secured his ninth Australian Open win after defeating Daniil Medvedev
Novak Djokovic versus Daniil Medvedev: How it unfolded
By Mike Dickson for Mailonline
Novak Djokovic ascended to Cloud Nine at Melbourne Park after reeling off yet another title.
The 33-year-old Serb moved to within two Grand Slam triumphs of Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer at the place where he simply cannot lose.
This time he saw off the potentially dangerous challenge of Daniil Medvedev with a laser-focused performance that resulted in a 7-5 6-2 6-2 that took just one hour and 53 minutes.
A beaming Novak Djokovic grabs hold of the Norman Brookes Challenge Cup after his ninth Australian Open triumph
Medvedev smiles as Djokovic pays tribute to his efforts following Sunday’s final – the pair first hit together when the Russian was ranked No 500 in the world
The winning moment for Djokovic as he secured a dominant victory over Medvedev in just one hour and 53 minutes
The Serbian celebrates with a couple of fist pumps and then dropped to the court as he celebrated his 18th Slam success
Medvedev’s racket bit the dust late in the second set as he hurled it to the ground in frustration after losing another point
The Russian world no 4 really had no solution to combat the quality and intensity of Djokovic’s game during a one-sided final
It saw him snap the 6′ 6′ Russian’s 20-match winning streak to win a ninth title, 13 years after claiming his first.
As the great champions move deeper into their thirties, the younger generation still struggle for a breakthrough. Medvedev was out-fought and out-thought, his fate finally sealed by an athletic overhead flick from the Serb.
Djokovic got off to a dominant start in a first set that rattled along surprisingly quickly, racing to 3-0 by employing an aggressive strategy in which he seemed determined to avoid getting dragged into long rallies.
Medvedev, thinking on his feet, adjusted to the tactic to fire back quickly, but there were always signs that the champion’s greater experience under pressure was going to tell.
A series of quickfire games saw Medvedev get rushed into being broken at 5-6 when he dumped a forehand in the net after saving two set points.
Djokovic fans in the crowd celebrate him taking the first set 7-5 in what was the ideal start to his latest major final
Medvedev stretches to make a return during the second set as Djokovic gave him a stern examination of his game
Djokovic stretches to play a graceful backhand during the opening set in the familiar surroundings of the Rod Laver Arena
The Russian’s groundstrokes do not score that highly on aesthetics but they are usually mighty effective, and he fired hopes of a recovery when breaking at the start of the second.
Yet we were to get a reminder of what still separates Djokovic from the chasing pack. Medvedev was immediately broken back while the Serb proceeded to dial down on his serving, looking rock solid against the uneven quality of his opponent’s returns.
That infected the rest of the Russian’s game, and before you knew it the champion was 5-2 up with Medvedev breaking his racket in frustration.
The Russian can have a volcanic temperament and soon he was constantly looking and gesticulating at his box – a warming sight from the other end of the court.
Covid-19 restrictions limited the crowd to around 50 per cent of the usual capacity – with around 7,500 permitted inside
Djokovic received the backing of a vocal Serbian support as he competed in the final for his latest Grand Slam success
Protesters interrupted the match during the second set and had to be escorted out of the arena by security guards
Djokovic’s returns, the best the sport has ever seen, sealed the second set and Medvedev was unravelling, his recent win at the ATP Finals in London counting for nothing.
Getting smothered by the relentless accuracy coming at him, the size of the occasion seemed to prevent the world number four trying something different. He has been known to revert to serve and volley but there was little sign of that.
A long, attritional game of chess had been promised but on the day Medvedev was not solid enough. With Djokovic’s stomach muscle problems of the past fortnight seemingly a distant memory it was he who was innovating as he sped towards the finish line.
The younger player briefly fired at 2-4 in the third but when he tried to get the crowd going Djokovic responded by reeling off three straight points to snuff out any chance of the revival.