'Spat At Me': Goffin Claps Back At Rowdy French Open Crowd After Chaotic Win

'Spat At Me': Goffin Claps Back At Rowdy French Open Crowd After Chaotic Win

by Nurein Ahmed

David Goffin called out the energetic French Open crowd for lack of respect in his thrilling five-set win over home wild card Giovanni Mpetshi Perricard.

The 20-year-old Frenchman recently won his maiden ATP title in his home city of Lyon and was cheered on every step of the way by an enthusiastic home crowd on Court 14. This was his second main draw appearance at Roland Garros.

The match itself lived up to the billing in terms of drama and tension, and it went right to the wire. The experienced Belgian got the lone break of serve in the fifth set to clinch a 4-6, 6-4, 6-3, 6-7, 6-3 in three hours and 35 minutes.

But Goffin's patience was wearing thin during the actual match. He revealed to reporters after the match that he was subjected to insults from "hooligans" and that someone from the crowd spat chewing gum at him. When he sealed the victory, he cupped his right ear to taunt them.

"When you are insulted for three and a half hours, you have to tease the public a little. Clearly, it goes too far, it’s total disrespect. It’s really too much. It’s becoming [like] football, soon there will be smoke bombs, hooligans and there will be fights in the stands."

Goffin in his post-match interview as quoted on inews 

"It’s starting to become ridiculous. Some people are there more to cause trouble than to create an atmosphere. Someone spat out their chewing gum at me. It [the match] was getting complicated. That’s why I wanted to stay calm. If I started to get angry about it, it could have destabilised me."

The French tennis fans can be a nuisance. Goffin also suggested that he was not the only person who has been afflicted by the crowd's jeering and impoliteness at Roland Garros, underpinning his claim that the tournament has the most disrespectful fans of all the four Grand Slams.

"A lot of people are complaining, a lot of umpires feel that there is a lot of disrespect. This is the repeated a lot in the locker room and among the ATP authorities. We’re going to have to do something about that."

"I think it only happens in France. At Wimbledon, obviously, there’s not that. Or in Australia either. And at the US Open, it’s still rather quiet. Here [at Roland Garros], it’s really an unhealthy atmosphere."


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