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French Open goes dry with alcohol ban to stop disruptive fans

Belgian David Goffin had accused partisan fans at the French Open of 'total disrespect' after he played a Frenchman in the first round while world number one Iga Swiatek urged them not to scream during rallies, especially in high-pressure games.
Last Updated : 30 May 2024, 15:22 IST
Last Updated : 30 May 2024, 15:22 IST

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Paris: As rain suspended play on the outer courts at the French Open again on Thursday, 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.

Belgian David Goffin had accused partisan fans at the French Open of "total disrespect" after he played a Frenchman in the first round while world number one Iga Swiatek urged them not to scream during rallies, especially in high-pressure games.

"First of all, we are happy people are very enthusiastic about watching tennis and being part of the matches, showing feeling and emotions," tournament director Amelie Mauresmo told reporters.

"But there are definitely steps which shouldn't go further. A few things have needed to be put in place.

"Alcohol was allowed until now in the stands, but that's over... If they exceed the limit, if they don't behave well or if they throw things at the players, that's it."

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.

"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," she added.

"I don't want to be negative and I'm an optimist. I'm really trying to see that people are going to react in a good way and that it's going to be OK. If it's not, we will take other measures."

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Published 30 May 2024, 15:22 IST

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