(May 24, 2015) Roger Federer began his French Open center court on with a 6-3, 6-3, 6-4 victory over qualifier Alejandro Falla n Paris on Sunday.
As Federer was leaving the court, a fan ran onto the court trying take a “selfie” with the world No. 2.
“Well, I’m not happy about it,” Federer said. “Obviously not one second I’m happy about it. It happened yesterday in the practice, too. It’s just a kid, but then three more kids came. And today on center court where you would think this is a place where nobody can come on, just wanders on and nothing happens. Happened during the finals in ’09 as well for me. So I definitely think this is something that something needs to happen quickly. Basically yesterday already. Not now, you know. But obviously 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. 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.”
A similar incident happened to Federer took place in 2009 during the French Open final, when the Swiss defeated Robin Soderling for his lone French Open title. A man ran out on the court and tried to put a hat on Federer.
“Gilbert Ysern (Roland Garros Tournament Director) 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.”
It also brought back painful memories of when Monica Seles was stabbed on-court by a fan in 1993 in Hamburg, Germany.
“Well, I know Monica very well,” Federer said. “I met her again in New York. It’s not that funny, that’s true, not at all, I’d say. I know that on these courts people are really close to the courts. It’s easy to jump above and be on the courts. I don’t know what we should do, what we should do to avoid these things. But it’s the reaction. You know, if these things happen and they should never happen, 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.”
As for his first round match, Federer hit 43 winners in the victory over the world No. 111.
Ysern held a news conference of his own later in the day.
“Well, I won’t react to his (Federer’s) comments, I will react to the facts,” Ysern said. “Of course his comments made sense. He was pissed off with what happened in court. He has good grounds for being unhappy. Well, I prefer to react to what happened. I think, well, some extent it’s not the end of the world. Of course we should not make too big a case of that, but it’s embarrassing, of course, for Roland Garros, when something like that happens. Well, it simply shows that we collectively as an organization made a mistake and we will have to correct that, of course, and make sure it doesn’t happen again.”
“I’m not going to tell you I’m happy with what happened this afternoon. But honestly, at this stage there is no reason for us to change the security procedures. They are organized; it was just a lack of judgment this afternoon. Clearly the security people who were on court did not do the job the way they should have done, of course, to say the least. Again, it’s a question of lack of judgment from them, and — well, we all know in tennis, like in other sports, the current approach consists in having the players — the crowds close to the players, you know, looking for signatures, autographs, and pictures, selfies and all that. Again, I think that’s where the lack of judgment this afternoon lays. I mean, the instinct and direction of security people must have been that it was something that was acceptable, which is clearly not. So again, I think we should understand that the issue here again is lack of judgment on the part of the people who are on court. It’s not the procedures that are in place that are wrong. No need to say that, of course, the message is passed again among all the security people. And tonight for sure we will reinforce the message again that clearly nobody is allowed to get on court in any case at any time for any reason. It has to be very clear. Of course, well, the fact that all you here is a good opportunity for me as well to remind everybody on court that this is still totally forbidden. And there are opportunities for the crowds to cheer for players, opportunities to get close to them. You know, we organize that, and the players are very helpful in that regard these days. They are giving some time to make themselves available for the crowds and the fans to get closer to them. But of course, the court is clearly forbidden for them to go on, and, well, they have to respect that. Of course, contrary to what happened this afternoon, we will enforce that rule more severely from today on and make sure it doesn’t happen again.”
Federer’s countryman Stan Wawrinka also advanced to the second round with a 6-3, 6-2, 6-3 over Marsel Ilhan.
Wawrinka is also upset with the French Open organizers complaining about a “completely stupid article” that he says appeared on the official http://www.rolandgarros.com tournament website on Saturday which touched upon his private life. The article was taken down.
Wawrinka said he spotted the article Saturday and “I told the tournament that I wasn’t really happy about it.”
“It’s official website of a Grand Slam, so I hope the guy who did that article is not a journalist. I also hope the guy who is supposed to check all the article on the website is not working anymore for the tournament. Because for me, for a Grand Slam website, it should be an article about the tennis and that’s it.”
“I saw the article last night,” Wawrinka told media. “I told the tournament that I wasn’t really happy about it, and I don’t think it was great for the tournament to do that sh*t article. That’s it. But after that, you know, I’m here to play tennis and to focus on my game. I can put that on the side, and that’s it.”
Ysern also commented on the article:”We have to pay attention when we proofread the papers. But given what we have on the Internet, so many people write so many things, so many papers. So controlling this is complicated. It’s complicated to control all levels, but we have to do this. When we missed this yesterday, we tried to catch up. Of course, we got rid of this paper, and that’s all. Everybody has faults. We have to admit it.”
Kei Nishikori, the fifth seed knocked out Paul-Henri Mathieu 6-3, 7-5, 6-1 to advance.
“I think it was solid match,” noted Japan’s top player. “Second set he started playing much better. He was hitting the ball pretty well, especially his backhand. But, yeah, after that I was playing some good tennis on the court, and, you know, I think it’s not easy to play three straight sets easy. So, you know, there is some up and downs, and I think I fight through pretty well.”
Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga make his country very happy with a 6-1, 6-2, 6-2 win over Swedish qualifier Christian Lindell.
“Today I played a good match,” Tsonga said. “I was really in the match. I was solid from the very first minute, and therefore I was more relaxed afterwards. Then things went on well after that. I was aggressive the way I had to be. I played well. I played a good match, and therefore, I didn’t have to stay too long on the court. That’s it.”
Ernests Gulbis earned just his third match win on the year, defeating Igor Sijsling in straight sets.
Ivo Karlovic became the first seeded man to fall at the French Open. The 25th seed lost 7-6 (5), 6-4, 6-4 to Marcos Baghdatis. Baghdatis was a 2006 Australian Open finalist.
In another surprise on the men’s side, Steve Johnson of the United States, squandered a two set lead, then rallied from a break down in the fifth set to defeat 26th seed Guillermo Garcia Lopez 6-3, 6-3, 6-7(1), 3-6, 6-3 to move into the second round. the match lasted almost three-and-a-half hours.
On the women’s side, third seed and last year’s losing finalist, Simona Halep held off Evgenia Rodina 7-5, 6-4.
“It was a tough match, because it was first round and always is difficult to start the tournament,” Halep said. “But, you know, she played well. She’s playing well. Yeah, I did feel easy mistakes, but it’s normal and I accept that. Next round I will be better, for sure.”
2008 champion Ana Ivanovic rebounded from a first set loss to stop Yaraoslava Shvedova 4-6, 6-2, 6-0.
“It was a little bit of tough start,” said the Serb. “I didn’t have many matches coming into the tournament, so I was really happy that I manage in the second set to sort of play a little bit deeper and put a little bit more pressure on her. In the third set I really felt like, okay, I was playing my game.”
Caroline Garcia became the first upset victim on the women’s side. The 31st seed lost to Donna Vekic 3-6, 6-3, 6-2.
“I am disillusioned, every French Open I can’t play tennis whether I’m playing a top-10 player or Vekic, who is a good player,” Garcia said. “I can’t make it here. It doesn’t depend on the opponent. It just depends on myself, and I can’t play here at the French Open and hope that it will change in the future.”
Another women’s seed exiting early was No. 25 Peng Shuai who retired with a back injury against Polona Hercog.