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French Open bans alcohol in stands after player claims fan spit chewing gum at him: ‘It’s total disrespect’

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The French Open has banned alcohol in an attempt to curtail rowdy behavior from fans, a measure that comes just days after Belgian player David Goffin said a fan had spit chewing gum at him during his first-round match. 

French Open tournament director Amelie Mauresmo announced that alcohol will no longer be allowed in the stands at Roland Garros after Goffin and Iga Swiatek both claimed to have had issues with crowd behavior. 

David Goffin at the French Open

David Goffin of Belgium looks on during his match against Alexander Zverev of Germany in the Men’s Singles second round match on Day Five of the 2024 French Open at at Roland Garros on May 30, 2024, in Paris, France.  (Mateo Villalba/Getty Images)

“Alcohol was allowed until now in the stands — not in all the stands — that’s over,” Mauresmo said, via ESPN. “If they exceed the limit, if they don’t behave well or if they throw things at the players, that’s it.”

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Mauresmo went on to say that chair umpires will need to be stricter with regard to enforcing respect for “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 overstepping. So these individuals … try to calm them down or they go out. If they go too far, they go out.”

Goffin, 33, sounded off on the fans after his victory over French tennis player Giovanni Mpetshi Perricard. 

French fans

French fans with French national flags chant during France’s Giovanni Mpetshi Perricard and Belgium’s David Goffin’s men’s singles match on day three of the French Open tennis tournament at the Roland Garros Complex in Paris on May 28, 2024.  (BERTRAND GUAY/AFP via Getty Images)

“Clearly, it goes too far, it’s total disrespect. It’s becoming like football. Soon there will be smoke bombs, hooligans and there will be fights in the stands,” he told local Belgian media, via the BBC. 

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

Goffin claimed that several players in the locker rooms had complained about the behavior of the crowds.

“Today, someone spat out their chewing gum at me,” he said. “That’s why I wanted to stay calm. If I started to get angry about it, it could have destabilized me.”

David Goffin at the French Open

David Goffin of Belgium celebrates after winning against Giovanni Mpetshi Perricardin of France in the Men’s Singles first round match during 2024 French Open – Day 3 at Roland Garros on May 28, 2024, in Paris, France. (Richard Callis/Eurasia Sport Images/Getty Images)

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Mauresmo said that officials will see how the new measures put into place work before taking further action. 

“I’m really trying to see that people are going to react in a good way and that it’s going to be OK, and if it’s not, we will take other measures.”

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