French Open: Novak Djokovic and Goffin back alcohol ban at Roland Garros | Tennis | Sport

David Goffin has backed the booze ban at the French Open – and claimed crowd behaviour risks getting out of control since Covid. “I don’t know how far this can go,” he warned.

The famous Belgian slammed home fans after he was spat at during a raucous late-night win over Frenchman Mpetshi Perricard.

It is the worst example of bad behaviour at this year’s claycourt Grand Slam.

World No.1 Iga Swiatek appealed for the crowd to keep quiet during points after her dramatic win over Naomi Osaka. And fellow defending champion Novak Djokovivc was booed during his second round win over Roberto Carballes Baena yesterday. “At times they are not easy,” said the Serb.

The French Open launched a crackdown on Thursday and banned fans taking alcohol into the stands as tournament director Amelie Mauresmo claimed “people’s behaviour” has changed post-Covid.

And after his defeat to Alex Zverev, former world No.7 Goffen said: “I think crowd behaviour has changed, especially the last few years. After my last match, I was surprised how many players and coaches came to me and said: ‘What you said is great, I agree.’

“Hopefully it’s good what Amélie did because if they continue like that, you never know. They’re going to come with firecrackers? Look at the fans in soccer or football. I don’t think this is what we want here in the world of tennis. Maybe we have to be careful. I don’t know how far this can go.”

Andy Murray’s former coach Mauresmo added: “After Covid, we have seen a change in people’s behaviour in terms of atmosphere. The emotions came back and people were hungry to live this kind of emotion again. A few people clearly crossed the line.”

Former French Open champion Mats Wilander also claimed fan behaviour has changed since the pandemic. “The planet has become much more emotional, nerves are more raw,” said the Swede.

“They were ordered to act in this or that way. They didn’t like it. They came back with the idea of living and showing their emotions.”

The French once beheaded their monarchy – and their modern-day fans now have a reputation for being a right royal pain in the neck. Ukraine‘s Marta Kostyuk was booed last year for refusing to shake hands with Belarusian opponent Aryna Sabalenka in an anti-war protest.

Djokovic, who was booed after complaining to the umpire about a fan repeatedly shouting during rallies, said: “They are very passionate fans. It’s part of sports. You want a good atmosphere.

“It’s a fine line when that line is passed and when it starts becoming disrespectful towards the player.”

But speaking about Swiatek’s request to the crowd on Court Philippe-Chatrier. Spain’s Paula Badosa said: “I think she cannot complain, because I played Court 8 and 9 and you can hear everything.

“Honestly, I like when the fans cheer and all this. We had a very tough situation years ago when we were playing without fans with the COVID situation, so now, for me, I’m so happy they’re back and I think they’re very important for our sport.”

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