Security tightened at French Open in wake

Security will be tighter than ever at the French Open in the wake of the deadly attacks in Paris last November.

The French Tennis Federation said there would be three mandatory check points for entry into Roland Garros, and spectators will be subjected to systematic body searches.

Officials declined to give the precise number of security agents being deployed, saying only it was up by 25 per cent compared to last year.

There will also be two perimeters of barriers outside the venue, plus police sniffer dogs.

“It’s true that players sometimes are asking us questions, but they are globally satisfied,” French Open director Guy Forget said on Friday.

“They know we took all necessary measures in the past, and that they will be implemented this year again.”

There was a breach in security last year when a teenager managed to make it out of the stands and stroll across the court to get near Roger Federer, using a mobile phone to try to snap photos.

In the 2009 French Open final, a fan ran onto the court and put a hat on Federer’s head, while three years ago a man who jumped onto the court with a lit flare briefly interrupted the final between Rafael Nadal and David Ferrer.

“I believe that people who organise the event and the whole city is 100 per cent focused on making the event safe for everybody, not only for the players,” Nadal said.

Asked about the previous incidents at Roland Garros, top-ranked Novak Djokovic said he “never had an issue with security in this tournament”.

“I’m aware of events that you’ve mentioned. Certainly, with what has happened several months ago in Paris and where the world is at this moment, of course we need to tighten up the security,” Djokovic said.

“You know, better safe than sorry.”

In the wake of the attacks in Paris that left 130 people dead, France remains in a state of emergency, which was recently extended by two months and will cover the French Open, the European Championship in June-July, and the Tour de France in July.

It expands police powers to put people under house arrest and allows authorities to forbid the movement of people and vehicles at specific times and places.

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