Someone spat gum at me’ – Goffin criticises Paris crowd

Belgium’s David Goffin has criticised the “total disrespect” from fans after he claimed someone spat chewing gum at him during his first-round win at the French Open.

Goffin defeated France’s Giovanni Mpetshi Perricard 4-6 6-4 6-3 6-7 (4-7) 6-3 on Tuesday.

The 33-year-old cupped his ear after he was booed by the partisan French crowd following his win on court 14.

“When you are insulted for three and a half hours, you have to annoy the public a little,” Goffin told Belgian media., external

“Clearly, it goes too far, it’s total disrespect. It’s becoming like football. Soon there will be smoke bombs, hooligans and there will be fights in the stands.

“It’s starting to become ridiculous. Some people are there more to cause trouble than to create an atmosphere.”

The French Tennis Federation called on fans to show “full respect to all players”.

“The public are incredibly enthusiastic, particularly on the outside courts,” a statement read.

“Although it is only natural that fans share their excitement and cheer on their favourites, this may not in any case go against the values of tennis or consideration for the players.

“Oversight bodies are in place to make sure rules are followed.”

Goffin said “a lot of people” were complaining in the locker room about the crowds.

The world number 115 added: “Today, someone spat out their chewing gum at me.

“That’s why I wanted to stay calm. If I started to get angry about it, it could have destabilised me.”

French women’s number one Caroline Garcia said she felt sorry for Goffin.

“Thank God I never experience it and I hope it will never happen again,” she said.

“In every sport sometimes there are fans who go too far. We are all here to play tennis and we are all here to watch and enjoy tennis.

“Even if we have our favourite players, we want to cheer with respect.”

Last year, Ukraine’s Marta Kostyuk said French Open spectators “should be embarrassed” after she was booed off court when she did not shake hands with Belarusian Aryna Sabalenka.

World number one Novak Djokovic also criticised the crowd last year, saying he found it “disrespectful” when he was booed for taking a medical time-out during his victory against Alejandro Davidovich Fokina.

“I think the majority of the people come to enjoy tennis or support one or the other player. But there are people who love to boo every single thing you do,” said Djokovic.

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