Angry Federer blasts organisers after scare

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Angry Federer blasts organisers after scare

Federer was furious with the lapse in security, claiming he had also been targetted in practice on Saturday.

By (AFP)

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Published: Mon 25 May 2015, 1:09 PM

Last updated: Thu 25 Jun 2015, 11:41 PM

Paris — Roger Federer blasted French Open organisers on Sunday after a fan breached security to grab a ‘selfie’ on court with the Swiss great.

Roger Federer appeals to security after a spectator tries to take a selfie on court after his win against Alejandro Falla. — ReutersThe 17-time Grand Slam winner had just completed a routine 6-3, 6-3, 6-4 win over Colombia’s Alejandro Falla when he was shocked to see a young fan sprinting towards him on the showpiece Philippe Chatrier Court.

Although the male fan was quickly manhandled off the court, 33-year-old Federer was furious with the lapse in security, claiming he had also been targetted in practice on Saturday.

“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,” said Federer.

“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.”

Federer was also involved in a security scare in the 2009 final at Roland Garros when a fan ran on to the same court and placed a hat on the star’s head.

Two years ago the final, which featured Rafael Nadal, was also held up when a shirtless spectator, brandishing a flare, leapt from the stands and onto the court before he was wrestled away by security officials.

Player safety at tennis tournaments has been a major concern ever since 1993 when Monica Seles was stabbed by a deranged fan in Hamburg.

Federer, the 2009 champion and seeded two this year, goes on to face Spain’s Marcel Granollers for a place in the last 32.

Federer, one of a record 39 men over 30 in the first round, is desperate to make the most of a kind draw which dumped top seed Novak Djokovic, nine-time champion Rafael Nadal and third seed Andy Murray all in the opposite half.

As a result, he can only face one of his main rivals for the title in the June 7 final and not before.

Federer’s Davis Cup teammate Stan Wawrinka, the eighth seed, took just 96 minutes to make the second round, seeing off Turkey’s Marsel Ilhan 6-3, 6-2, 6-3.

Wawrinka, who made the last-eight in 2013, goes on to face either Serbia’s Dusan Lajovic or Maximo Gonzalez of Argentina in the next round.

Romania’s Simona Halep, the 2014 runner-up and third seed, saw off Russian world number 91 Evgeniya Rodina 7-5, 6-4 and next faces Mirjana Lucic-Baroni, the Croatian player who knocked her out of the US Open last year.

“It’s not easy to start a new tournament but I am happy to be back in Paris where I have so many great memories from last year,” said the 23-year-old Halep who was broken three times and committed 26 unforced errors.

Japanese fifth seed Kei Nishikori is also in action on Sunday against Paul-Henri Mathieu, the 33-year-old Frenchman, now ranked at 123 and who has won just one tour match all year.

Nishikori has yet to get beyond the fourth round in Paris but retained his claycourt title in Barcelona this year as well as making the semi-finals in Madrid.

He also has the added benefit of 1989 French Open champion Michael Chang as coach.

Serbian seventh seed Ana Ivanovic, the 2008 champion, starts her campaign against Kazakhstan’s Yaroslava Shvedova, a quarter-finalist in 2010 and 2012.

German 22nd seed Philipp Kohlschreiber saw off Japan’s Go Soeda 6-1, 6-0, 6-2 while Cyprus’s Marcos Baghdatis accounted for the first seeded victim, putting out Ivo Karlovic, the 25th seed from Croatia, 7-6 (7/5), 6-4, 6-4

In the women’s singles, Russian ninth seed Ekaterina Makarova breezed past US wildcard Louisa Chirico 6-4, 6-2.  

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