"Go too far, go out" - French Open director Amelie Mauresmo bans alcohol, warns fans against unruly behavior amid Iga Swiatek, Goffin's complaints

French Open director Amelie Mauresmo bans alcohol
French Open director Amelie Mauresmo bans alcohol

In an unexpected move, French Open director Amelie Mauresmo has banned alcohol from the stands after recent complaints from players about fan behavior at the 2024 Roland Garros. While David Goffin accused some fans for spitting gum at him during his first-round clash against a French local, Iga Swiatek pleaded with fans to stop screaming in the middle of rallies, as it affects player concentration.

The Belgian had stated earlier that he was insulted for several hours during his clash against Giovanni Mpetshi Perricard, calling it "total disrespect" and a step too far.

"When you're insulted for 3.5 hours, you have to annoy the public a little. Clearly, it goes too far. It's total disrespect. Some people are there more to make a mess than to make a mess of things. Atmosphere today, someone spat their gum at me," Goffin said.

Swiatek, after her second-round win over former World No. 1 Naomi Osaka, made a heartfelt request to fans, stating that it would be better if they could just show their enthusiasm between points instead of during.

"I have huge respect for you guys and I know we are playing for you, but sometimes under a lot of pressure when you scream something during the rally, it’s really hard to be focused," Swiatek said.
"This is serious for us. We’re fighting our whole lives to be better and better. Sometimes it’s hard to accept that. The stakes are big. There’s a lot of money to win. If you can support us between the rallies but not during, that would be great," she added.

After such complaints, Mauresmo has decided to stop the problem at the source, with alcohol no longer being allowed in the stands. They will, however, still be on sale in the French Open grounds.

Moreover, the Frenchwoman has given strict warning to fans, remarking that she has ordered chair umpires to get fans out of the stadium if they spot any sign of unruly behavior that disturbs the players.

“There are a few people who cross the line. Yet I want to be uncompromising about respect for the players and the game. I’ve given instructions to the umpires that they should be hyper-reactive so that they can control the court, if, for example, there are [shouts] between the first and second serves," Amelie Mauresmo said to media on Thursday (via Tennis Majors).
"If there is the slightest out-of-bounds behaviour in the stands, I have instructed the security staff to evacuate the people very clearly, even if they are not always easy to identify... If they go too far, they go out,” she added.

"The referees will have stricter and earlier instructions about holding the public" - French Open director Amelie Mauresmo

Amelie Mauresmo
Amelie Mauresmo

French Open director Amelie Mauresmo admitted during the press interaction that there will indeed be some situations where it's not clear whether a fan has been unruly or not. In such cases, Mauresmo asserted that the onus will be on the umpire to decide.

At the same time, she added that she has also instructed the tournament referees to be more strict about controlling the public and maintaining decorum.

“You can show your enthusiasm. There will inevitably be situations where it’s up to the umpire, neither black nor white. We’re going to keep the expressions during the point to a minimum. The referees will have stricter and earlier instructions about holding the public," Amelie Mauresmo said.

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