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