Not a bird, not a plane, not Superman... but rather, a black drone hovered over Louis Armstrong stadium in New York Thursday night. It crashed into seats toward the second-round match between No. 26-ranked Flavia Pennetta and Monica Niculescu — forcing security officials as well as members of the New York Police Department to halt the US Open tennis match to carry out investigation.

Reports say authorities promptly examined the drone — which shattered into pieces upon landing in an empty area of the stadium.

Chris Widmaier, U.S. Tennis Association spokesperson, reported that no spectator was harmed during the episode. Also, he told the press that the NYPD is conducting an investigation.

"I was a little bit scared," Pennetta recounted. "I mean, with all the things that happen now in the world, I'm imagining, 'OK, it's a bomb.' That was my first reaction. I think it's normal to think something like that... I was trying to (keep playing). I saw the police there watching and everything."

She added that nobody informed her what was going on, neither the event officers nor the chair umpire.

In spite of what happened, Pennetta still won the game — with a 6-1, 6-4 record.

Reports noted that the incident took place before 8:30 p.m. The two tennis players were initially slated to carry out the match on Court 17 — smaller, compared to the Louis Armstrong Stadium, which can cater to 10,000 individuals. The match was relocated since four earlier matches inside the stadium finished early.

In 2014, a similar event happened when a drone carrying an Albanian flag stopped the European Championship qualifying match between Serbia and Albania.

The incident lead to a clash among players, with players from Albania declining to play after Serbian fans attacked them, according to reports.

What also made authorities consider drones as security concerns in sports events is another incident that took place last year, when an alleged pilot of a drone was arrested after purportedly flying it over Eastlands during the Premier League soccer match between Tottenham and Manchester City.

A similar episode also occurred at Wimbledon in July while the players were warming up in preparation for the Grand Slam in South West London.

Photo: Lima Pix | Flickr

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