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By Erik Gudris | @atntennis | Thursday, May 30, 2024

Roland Garros tournament organizers hope to curb rowdy fan behavior by banning alcohol consumption inside the courts.

This action comes after several days of fans behaving badly during the event, including an incident where Belgium’s David Goffin claimed a fan spat chewing gum at him during his first round match on Court 14.

More: Goffin Slams Rowdy Fans at Roland Garros

Tournament director Amelie Mauresmo held a press briefing to discuss the issue. As of now, fans will be able to drink alcohol in the concourses, but not at their courtside seats. Mauresmo also said that along with security being increased throughout the grounds, chair umpires during matches will have more authority to eject unruly fans if needed.

“The umpires are really going to be even more strict to (give) further respect to the players and respect the game,” Mauresmo said. “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 is maybe making (trouble). Because I think it’s a few individuals at some point that are overstepping.

“Security personnel will try to calm them down or they go out. If they go too far, they go out.”

So far, no fans have been ejected yet. As far as Goffin’s claim of being spit on, while tournament officials are investigating the matter, they have not been able to identify any specific individuals.

With the ongoing rainy weather in Paris causing match delays, it gives fans more down time and the increases the likelihood of them drinking more during their time at the tournament.

Unruly fans have also been shouting out during points in several matches.

That occurred in a pivotal moment in the final set between Iga Swiatek and Naomi Osaka in their second round match. After she won, Switak in her own court interview spoke to the crowd directly about this.

“I am sorry to bring this up,” Swiatek said, “but when you scream something during the rally or right before the return, it’s really, really hard to be focused.”

Sebastian Korda was also asked about the new policy banning alcohol in the stands. He said he experienced similar issues while playing in Australia, but hopes that fans will learn to keep things under control.

“I’ve played in Australia on one of their brand new courts that has a bar right next to it. It wasn't a fun experience. I've heard some stuff that weren't very nice.Yeah, I don't know. I don't really know how to comment on that. I think they should do whatever they want, but hopefully not get too rowdy out there.”

Mauresmo, while understanding that fans get excited during a close match, also hopes that they don’t cross the line and become a distraction.

“We are happy that people are very enthusiastic about watching tennis, about being part of the matches, about feeling emotions and showing emotions. But yes, definitely there are steps that they shouldn’t go further (than). I don’t want to be negative and I’m an optimist. I’m really [hoping] to see that people are gonna react in a good way and that it’s gonna be okay, and if it’s not, we will take other measures.”

Photo Credit: Getty Images