Security lapse highlights French Open
By HOWARD FENDRICH
AP Tennis Writer
PARIS – Roger Federer was not amused.
As Federer finished an interview after his first-round French Open victory Sunday, an overzealous fan left his seat and approached the 17-time major champion right there on the main stadium court in search of the most modern of mementos – a cellphone selfie.
At first, Federer seemed startled. Then he looked uncomfortable, trying to brush away the unexpected guest, who appeared to be in his teens, before a guard led the spectator away. And in the end, Federer was angry at what he considered a serious lapse in security.
“I’m not happy about it. Obviously, not (for) one second (am I) happy about it,” Federer said, adding that something similar happened a day earlier, when several kids interrupted his practice session at Roland Garros. “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.”
Tournament director Gilbert Ysern called it “embarrassing” and acknowledged Federer “has good grounds for being unhappy,” but chalked the whole thing up to “lack of judgment” on the part of the security staff that let the intruder get by.
Ysern noted that tennis security was beefed up worldwide after then-No. 1 Monica Seles was stabbed in the back by someone who came out of the stands during a changeover at a tournament in Germany in 1993.