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Alcohol ban for French Open fans after Goffin complaint

Spectators at the French Open have been banned from drinking alcohol in the stands at Roland Garros following Belgian star David Goffin’s complaint that a fan spat chewing gun at him.

Organizers have acted quickly following Goffin’s complaint about the “disrespectful” crowd on Court 14 when he beat home favorite Giovanni Mpetshi Perricard in five sets on Tuesday.

Spectators will not be allowed to drink in their seats any more, with tournament director Amelie Mauresmo also saying on Thursday that security had been tightened and umpires had been told to be stricter with unruly crowd behavior.

“Alcohol was until now authorized in the stands. Now it’s over,” Mauresmo said.

David Goffin had complained that a spectator had spat chewing gum at him.

“We are happy people are very enthusiastic about watching tennis and being part of the matches, showing feeling and emotions, but there are definitely steps which shouldn’t go further. A few things have needed to be put in place.

“The umpires are really going to be even more strict to further respect the players and respect the game.

“This is something that we’re not going to tolerate, to overstep these two things. That’s for sure. So umpires have quite an important role in this matter.

“And definitely in terms of security, we’re going to try to see which people are maybe making trouble, because I think it’s a few individuals at some point that are overstepping.”

Mauresmo said that authorities were still trying to identify the person who spat gum at Goffin but added that spectators had been thrown out at this year’s event.

The home fans’ behavior has been a hot topic at Roland Garros this year with women’s champion Iga Swiatek even offering a gentle plea to the fans for shouting out during rallies in her epic win over Naomi Osaka on Wednesday.

Daniil Medvedev smiled about the difficulty of playing French players in front of their home fans but reckoned it was no worse than playing against an Aussie in Melbourne.

“I think playing French (players) in Roland Garros is not easy, that’s for sure. A lot of players experience it,” he said on Thursday.

“I would say that in US Open and Wimbledon is not the same. Australia can be tough. I played Thanasi (Kokkinakis) once there (in 2018) on the small court. It was, whew, brutal!

“It’s good to have energy between points, but then when you’re ready to serve, it’s okay, let’s finish it and let’s play tennis.”

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