French Open bans alcohol in stands after tennis fan allegedly spits at player

French Open organisers have banned alcohol in the stands after complaints by players, including one who claimed a spectator spat chewing gum towards him.

Amelie Mauresmo, director of the tennis tournament in southwest Paris, also said that security would be tightened around the site of the Grand Slam.

"Until now, alcohol was allowed in the stands. Not in every stand… But now it's over. Everywhere," she said.

Belgian player David Goffin complained after his first-round victory in five sets on Tuesday against Frenchman Giovanni Mpetshi Perricard on court 14, saying he was "insulted for three and a half hours" by the partisan supporters with one person spitting gum at him.

He said: "It's a total lack of respect. I think it's just too much. It's becoming soccer. Soon there'll be smoke bombs, hooligans and fights in the stands."

"I think it's getting ridiculous. Some people are there more to cause trouble than to enjoy the atmosphere," Goffin said, adding that he thought things were worse at the French Open than the US Open, Wimbledon or the Australian Open.

"Here, it's really an unhealthy atmosphere, I think. You can feel that people are talking to you and trying to throw you off balance with really harsh words. I'm not going to repeat what I heard," said Goffin, who has reached the quarter-finals at three of the four Grand Slam tournaments.

Meanwhile, number one-ranked women's player Iga Swiatek told the fans they were too disruptive during points when she beat former number one Naomi Osaka in a thrilling three-set contest on Wednesday.

"When you scream something during the rally or right before the return, it's really, really hard to be focused," said the Polish player, who is the defending champion at Roland Garros.

"The stakes are big and there is a lot of money here to win. So losing a few points may change a lot," she said.

"So please, guys, if you can support us between the rallies - but not during - that would be really, really amazing."

But Osaka did not have an issue with what was going on, indicating crowds at the US Open in New York were more badly behaved.

"I thought the crowd was really cool. For me, I feel like those are the moments I live for," she said.

"Also, it just makes me feel like the crowd is having fun, and I think at the end of the day that's what I want the most. I want people to - like, no matter if I won or lost - (say), 'Oh, I watched the match and I had a great time.'

"For me, I didn't have a problem with the crowd at all. But I'm also used to the New York crowd."

Mauresmo - who won two Grand Slam titles as a player more than a decade ago - said she thought spectators at sports events have pushed the boundaries since coming out of the COVID pandemic.

"People went back to the stadiums and were eager to relive that kind of emotion. And then we noticed, like with [Goffin] the other day, that there were some people who actually crossed the line," she said.

"So what I'd like to say is, yes, we're happy that there's an atmosphere, that there's emotion, that there's a crowd. On the other hand, we're going to be adamant about respecting the players and the game."