Roger Federer Blasts French Open Security after Selfie-Seeking Fan Runs on Court

AP Photo
The Associated Press

A fan jumped onto Philippe Chatrier Court after Roger Federer defeated Alejandro Falla to take a selfie with the tennis great.

Afterwards, Federer lashed out at the French Open organizers for lack of security, especially since other kids rushed his court during practice on Saturday.

From Yahoo! Sports:

I am not happy about it. It happened yesterday in the practice, too. It’s just a kid, but then three more kids came. And today on centre court where you would think this is a place where nobody can come on, just wanders on and nothing happens.

Something needs to happen quickly. Normally I only speak on behalf of myself, but in this situation I think I can speak on behalf of all the players, that that’s where you do your job, that’s where you want to feel safe.

And so clearly I’m not happy about it. But nothing happened, so I’m relieved. But clearly it wasn’t a nice situation to be in.

The young kid managed to place his hand on Federer’s shoulders, but could not get his phone to work until security finally tackled him to the ground. It took almost five seconds too long to reach the kid. Federer, who is known for his humble and polite behavior, took the breach in stride and did not get physical with the intruder.

Security is always an issue at sporting events, but more so in tennis since a fan stabbed Monica Seles in 1993. But Roland Garros promised better security in light of the Charlie Hebdo slaughter in January that left 13 people dead.

In 2009, the year Federer finally won the French Open to complete the Career Grand Slam, a fan rushed the court to place a hat on his head. Then two years ago, during the final between Rafael Nadal and David Ferrer, a fan, as the AFP describes, “brandishing a flare, leapt from the stands and onto the court.”