<
>

Roger Federer upset after being approached on court by selfie-seeking fan

Play0:21
Fan jumps on court, attempts selfie with Fed

A young fan eludes security and jumps onto the Philippe-Chatrier Court after Roger Federer's first-round match against Alejandro Falla at the French Open and attempts to get a selfie with the clearly annoyed Swiss maestro.

Roger Federer was upset that a selfie-seeking fan approached him on center court Sunday after his first-round victory at the French Open.

Federer already had been approached by autograph seekers on the actual court following his afternoon practice session Saturday.

It happened for the second day in a row Sunday when a young fan sprinted unimpeded onto Court Philippe Chatrier for a selfie after Federer defeated Alejandro Falla. The 17-time Grand Slam singles champion graciously posed, but afterward he was something approaching livid.

"I'm not happy about it, obviously not one second I'm happy about it," Federer said. "It happened yesterday in the practice, too. And, today on center court, where you would think this is a place where nobody can come on, just wanders on and nothing happens.

"So I definitely think this is [a change] that something needs to happen quickly. But obviously [I] want this to happen immediately. 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. But nothing happened, so I'm relieved. But clearly it wasn't a nice situation to be in."

Witnesses said the fan was not immediately detained or disciplined.

Federer said he was also visited by a fan during the 2009 French Open final, so Sunday's episode was his third at Roland Garros.

The situation recalled a grisly incident in 1993, when Monica Seles was stabbed in the back by a crazed Steffi Graf fan during a Hamburg changeover. Since then, tennis security has been visibly beefed up. Burly men in black, two of them on the big courts, protect the players as they sit with their backs to the crowd on changeover chairs.

But on Saturday and Sunday no one stopped those fans from rushing the court. Federer said he had spoken to tournament director Gilbert Ysern after Saturday's incident, and again moments after his first-round match.

The French Tennis Federation did not make anyone immediately available for comment.

"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. Yeah, 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."

Federer said he knew Seles very well.

"I know that on these courts, people are really close to the courts," he said. "It's easy to jump above and be on the courts. If people can get close to us, to me, you know, it shouldn't happen. And then how they are going to change this? I don't know. They will tell us. Of course, I couldn't react, the kid was coming from behind me."

Later, speaking in French, Federer elaborated: "So the situation is that this should never happen on the Philippe Chatrier court in Roland Garros and it even happened yesterday to me. Nobody reacted in terms of safety, you know, security. I think it's true for all players that you have to feel safe when we play, feel safe on the courts. I think people should react more quickly.

"It's not just being there, standing there on the courts wearing a nice tie and suit. It's not that funny, you know. And I hope that there is going to be a reaction from the tournament. They apologized, and I must say that I appreciated this, but I'd like to see what's going to happen next."