Alcohol prohibited in French Open stands


French Open bans alcohol in stands Image: Roland Garros, French Tennis Federation & Christophe Guibbaud

The French Open has banned fans from drinking alcohol in the stadium stands in a clamp down on poor behaviour.

The BBC said the move comes after Belgium’s David Goffin had chewing gum spat at him during a match against France’s Giovanni Mpetshi Perricard.

Women’s defending champion Iga Świątek also pleaded with fans at Roland-Garros to keep quiet during points and not to shout out.

The 15,000-capacity Roland-Garros Stadium is a complex of tennis courts, including stadiums, located in Paris (France) that hosts the French Open. The tournament, also known as Roland Garros, is a Grand Slam tennis championship played annually in late May and early June.

Tournament director Amelie Mauresmo said, “First of all, 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. Alcohol has been allowed up until now in the stands – but that’s over.”

While alcohol will be banned in the stands, it will continue to be available on the concourses and around the grounds.

Mauresmo said chair umpires will be stricter in asking for respect “to the players and to the game”.

Świątek criticized spectators for shouting during points following her tense second-round victory against Naomi Osaka.

She said after the match, “I have huge respect for you guys and I know that we are playing basically for you because this is entertainment and we are also earning money because of you.

“But sometimes, [we’re] under a lot of pressure. When you scream something during the rally or right before the return, it’s really, really hard to be focused … This is serious for us, we’re fighting our whole lives to be better and better and, sometimes, it’s just hard to accept that.”

Security measures have been increased and offenders will be identified and warned in a bid to calm them down.

Former world number one Mauresmo added, “Overstepping these two things is not something we will tolerate. I’m an optimist and I think people will react in a good way. If not we will take more measures.”

Goffin welcomed Mauresmo’s intervention, saying he thought it would stop things escalating in coming years.

He said, “It’s becoming football. Soon, there will be smoke bombs, hooligans and there will be fights in the stands.

“It’s starting to become ridiculous. Some people are there more to cause trouble than to create an atmosphere.”

There has also been criticism that many of the matches at this year’s event have once again been played out in front of sparse crowds, despite the fact they are supposed to be sold out.

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