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French Open: Dan Evans says players calling Roland Garros fans 'hooligans' is 'laughable'

Dan Evans hits out at players over "laughable" complaints over spectator noise at Roland Garros; you can watch Andy Murray in action at the Stuttgart Open, exclusively live on Sky Sports Tennis from June 10-16

Dan Evans of Great Britain celebrates during his match against Holger Rune of Denmark in the first round at Roland Garros on May 28, 2024 in Paris, France. (Photo by Frey/TPN/Getty Images)
Image: Dan Evans has been surprised at complaints made by players about the crowd at the French Open

Britain's Dan Evans fears players complaining about the vociferous French Open crowd may lead to long-term repercussions for the sport.

Belgian David Goffin had accused partisan fans at the French Open of "total disrespect" after he played Frenchman Giovanni Mpetshi Perricard in the first round while world No 1 Iga Swiatek urged them not to scream during rallies, especially in high-pressure games.

It was not the first time that the Roland Garros faithful, known to show up late for the afternoon matches on the back of long lunches and sometimes pick on players, were in the spotlight for the wrong reasons.

Tournament director Amelie Mauresmo said umpires have been asked to become more strict and intervene to ensure players are respected while security would step in if fans overstepped their boundaries.

Fans were in for more disappointment when organisers announced they would not be able to drink alcohol in the stands after unruly behaviour came under scrutiny.

Fans of France's Hugo Gaston show the colours of the French flag during his first round match of the French Open tennis tournament against Ben Shelton of the U.S. at the Roland Garros stadium in Paris, Monday, May 27, 2024. (AP Photo/Aurelien Morissard)
Image: Spectators at Roland Garros are known for turning matches involving home stars into a bearpit of an atmosphere

But Evans, who played doubles alongside Andy Murray on Friday at Roland Garros, has been surprised by players complaining about the crowd.

"I'm surprised at the reaction of some players to the crowd," Evans told The Times. "We have to be careful what we are saying about the spectators and asking them not to drink or get too excited. They will start thinking, 'What's the point?'

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"The atmosphere here is one of the best. They are passionate and go crazy for this. There are kids everywhere loving tennis. Now we are telling them to stop.

"The spectators pay hard-earned money to come here, and for some players to tell them to stop being so loud... come on, this is sport. We want the crowd to be into it. To call them hooligans is just laughable."

Sebastian Korda of the U.S. plays a shot against Spain's Carlos Alcaraz during their third round match of the French Open tennis tournament at the Roland Garros stadium in Paris, Friday, May 31, 2024. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus)
Image: Sebastian Korda doesn't have any concerns about 'rowdy' spectators

Sebastian Korda also supported Evans' comments and feels spectators should be able to do "whatever they want".

"That they're not smashing booze out there? I've played in Australia on one of their brand-new courts that has a bar right next to it," Korda said. "It wasn't a fun experience. I've heard some stuff that weren't very nice.

"I think [spectators] should do whatever they want, but hopefully not get too rowdy out there."

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