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French Open: Alcohol banned from stands at Roland Garros by tournament director Amelie Mauresmo

The French Open has brought in measures to improve fan behaviour after complaints about some spectators during the first week of the tournament; tournament director Amelie Mauresmo says alcohol will be banned from the stands at Roland Garros

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: French Open chiefs have banned spectators from drinking alcohol in the stands at Roland Garros

The French Open has banned alcohol from the stands in a bid to clamp down on fan behaviour at Roland Garros.

The first week of the tournament has seen a raucous atmosphere and there was an incident on Wednesday when Belgian David Goffin claimed a spectator spat chewing gum at him during his five sets victory over France's Giovanni Mpetshi Perricard.

On the same day, world No 1 Iga Swiatek asked fans to be quiet during points in her thrilling win against Naomi Osaka.

Tournament director Amelie Mauresmo also said security would be improved and umpires will be instructed to be stricter with the crowd during the match.

"Alcohol was until now authorised in the stands. Now it's over," said Mauresmo. "The umpires are really going to be even more strict to further respect to 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."

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Mauresmo said the person who allegedly spat gum at Goffin had not been identified and that no spectators had been ejected from the tournament so far.

She added: "We tried to gather information yesterday on what happened and how we can do things - so these new rules are from this morning. So we'll see how it goes."

David Goffin (Getty Images)
Image: David Goffin says a lot of people have complained about fan behaviour at the French Open

Goffin backs French Open's move for alcohol ban

Goffin has backed the decision taken by Mauresmo and the French Open, saying he'd had support from fellow players on the tour since speaking out.

"It's funny, because after my press conference two days ago, I don't know how many people and how many players came to me and were on my side," Goffin said following his second-round defeat to Alexander Zverev.

"Hopefully it's good what Amelie did because if they continue like that, you never know.

"[Maybe the spectators] said 'Okay, it was fine this year. Maybe we go for it for more next year and then the year after is going even for more'.

"You never know what they're going to do, if they're going to come with firecrackers."

As for fan noise, that is nothing new in tennis, as players generally have issues with shouting in between serves or just before a serve.

However, Goffin - a veteran of the sport - feels it's gone too far and is "starting to become ridiculous".

"A lot of people are complaining. A lot of umpires feel that there is a lot of disrespect," he added.

"This is repeated a lot in the locker room and among the ATP authorities. We're going to have to do something about that.

"I think it only happens in France. At Wimbledon, obviously, there's not that. Or in Australia either. At the US Open, it's still rather quiet. Here, it's a really unhealthy atmosphere."

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