Federer "not happy" with French Open security after fan runs on court
PARIS – Roger Federer opened his French Open campaign with a 6–3, 6–3, 6–4 win over Colombian qualifier Alejandro Falla, but his most worrisome moment came after the match. Following his on-court media interviews, Federer was walking off court when a young fan got past security and ran on court in an attempt to take a selfie with him. Security was slow to react but eventually stepped in to escort the fan off of the court.
Federer made it clear he was displeased with the repeated security breaches French Open organizers have allowed over the years, including an incident on Saturday during his practice.
"Obviously not one second [am] I'm happy about it," Federer said. "It happened yesterday in the practice, too. It's just a kid, but then three more kids came. And today on center court where you would think this is a place where nobody can come on, [he] just wanders on and nothing happens. Happened during the finals in '09 as well for me.
"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."
During the 2009 French Open final, a fan came on court and got so close to Federer as to be able to put a hat on his head. In the 2013 French Open final between Rafael Nadal and David Ferrer, a topless anti-gay marriage protester was able to get on court with a lit flare mid-match, getting perilously close to Nadal before security intervened. Roland Garros isn't the only tournament to have security issues in recent years—a fan ran onto the court to give Nadal a kiss at the 2009 U.S. Open to give Nadal a kiss, among other incidents.
"[Tournament director] Gilbert Ysern already came and apologized to me, and we had a quick conversation," Federer said. "I just told him what I think needs to happen. I told him about yesterday, as well, which he didn't know about. I'm sure they will take the necessary steps now, but this doesn't only mean for this tournament for this year; it means for all the tournaments we play all the years coming up. We need to make sure that it's safe out there and people don't just wander on the court like a free pass, you know. That's how it's supposed to be."