Home Sports French Open bans alcohol in stands after spitting fan claim

French Open bans alcohol in stands after spitting fan claim

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Belgian David Goffin doesn't seem impressed
Belgian David Goffin claimed a fan spat gum at him – Getty Images/Richard Callis

He open French has banned alcohol consumption in the stands after rowdy behavior over the past five days, including an unpleasant incident in which Belgian David Goffin He claimed that a fan had spit gum at him..

Tournament director Amelie Mauresmo held a briefing Wednesday in which she said security at the venue would be beefed up to keep fans in line.

From now on, spectators will be able to drink on the concourses but not bring alcoholic beverages to their seats next to the court.

“The referees are really going to be even stricter to (give) more respect to the players and respect the game,” Mauresmo said. “This is something that we are not going to tolerate, exceeding these two things. That is sure. So the referees have a fairly important role in this matter.

“And definitely, in terms of security, we’re going to try to see what people may be creating (problems) … because I think it’s a few individuals who at some point are going overboard.

”(Security staff) will try to calm them down or they will leave. If they go too far, they shut down.”

According to Mauresmo, to date there have been no expulsions of spectators. Although tournament organizers attempted to investigate Goffin’s complaints about “a really unhealthy atmosphere” on the remote Court 14 on Tuesday night, they were unable to identify any individual offenders.

“We’ve tried to gather information from yesterday about what happened and how we can do things so that these types of new rules are from this morning,” Mauresmo said. “So we’ll see how it goes.

“We are happy that people are very excited to watch tennis, to be part of the matches, to feel emotions and show emotions. But yes, there are definitely steps that should not go further.

“I don’t want to be negative and I am optimistic. “I really (hope) to see that people react in a good way and that everything will be fine, and if it’s not, we will take other measures.”

Loud fans have been a problem all week at this wet and rainy Roland Garros. They were first accused of creating a “circus” of atmosphere on court 12, which may have helped French wild card Terence Atmane escape with just a warning. when he hit a loose ball into the body of a spectator.

Then there was Goffin, who spoke of being “insulted for three hours” during his first-round victory over another local favorite: Giovanni Mpetshi Perricard. As Goffin added: “It’s really too much. This is turning into football, soon there will be smoke bombs, hooligans and fights in the stands. It’s starting to get ridiculous. “Some people are there more to cause trouble than to create an atmosphere.”

Finally, on Wednesday, world number one Iga Swiatek took advantage of the on-court interview after her thrilling victory over Naomi Osaka. complain about shouting during rallies. “I’m sorry to mention this,” she said, “but when you shout something during the rally or right before the return, it’s very, very difficult to concentrate.”

One thing that has changed at Roland Garros in recent seasons is the availability of beer. Where once you had to wait in line at bars, there are now self-service taps on the esplanades and street vendors carrying alcoholic drinks in their backpacks.

Last year, at least three players complained about the rude behavior of French fans, with Daria Kastakina saying: “I leave Paris with a very bitter feeling. Yesterday I was booed for simply being respectful of my opponent’s position of not shaking hands… Be better, love each other. “Don’t spread hate.”

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