French Open to ban alcohol in drastic measure after David Goffin ‘spitting’ accusations | Tennis | Sport

The French Open tournament director has announced that alcohol will be banned in the stands in a crackdown on disrespectful behaviour from spectators.

It comes after David Goffin claimed he was insulted during his first-round match on Court 14, and said: “Someone spat out their chewing gum at me.”

The tournament is now working to find the person in question and Amelie Mauresmo says that members of the crowd who “go too far” can be ejected.

The French Open is taking drastic measures to avoid more hostile crowd situations after Goffin’s experience on Tuesday night, when he beat French wildcard Giovanni Mpetshi Perricard.

Tournament director Mauresmo confirmed that organisers had been working to introduce new rules after hearing of the former world No. 7’s experience, the biggest one being a booze ban. Fans will still be able to drink around the grounds but not while seated in the stands.

“Alcohol was allowed until now in the stands – not in all the stands – that’s over,” she said. “If anyone exceeds the limit, if anyone doesn’t behave well or if anyone throws things at the players, that’s it, they go out. Safety – it’s very clear – the instructions are given and there will be no hesitation.”

And there will be stricter umpiring on the courts to ensure that fans don’t disrupt the players. Speaking in English, Mauresmo explained: “First of all, we are happy that people are very enthusiastic about watching tennis, about being part of the matches, about feeling emotions and showing emotions.

“But yes, definitely there are steps that they shouldn’t go further [than]. So a few things have been put in place: first of all, the umpires really going to be even more strict to further respect to the players and respect the game. So 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.”

The tournament will also beef up its security and remove anyone who crosses the line. Mauresmo continued: “And definitely in terms of security, we’re going to try to see which people is maybe making – because I think it’s a few individuals at some point that are overstepping. So these individuals, try to calm them down or or they go out. If they go too far, they go out.”

The two-time Grand Slam champion said no one had been ejected yet, but added: “We’ve tried to gather yesterday informations on what happened and how we can do the things so these kind of new rules are from this morning. So we’ll see how it goes.”

Organisers are now working to find the person that Goffin says “spat gum” on him. “Yeah we also on it, for now we haven’t [found them],” Mauresmo said, explaining that a decision would be taken when the spectator was identified.

But she is hopeful that the new measures will work, trusting that most spectators were just sharing their emotions. “We’re gonna upgrade the security. We’re gonna see how it goes. I think if people entering the stadium, they’re happy, they want to share emotions, that’s great,” she said.

“And let’s see how it goes with the [umpires] being a little bit more strict. Let’s see how it goes with the security being also a little bit more strict. And I don’t want to be negative and I’m an optimistic. I’m really trying to see that people are gonna react in a good way and that it’s gonna be okay, and if it’s not, we will take other the measures.”

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