David Goffin - Wimbledon 2023

French Open star slams ‘ridiculous’ crowd after being ‘spat’ at

David Goffin has criticised the French Open crowd, after revealing that someone spat their chewing gum at him during the first round match. 

Goffin beat French wildcard Giovanni Mpetshi Perricard, 4-6 6-4 6-3 6(4)-7 6-3, in over three-and-a-half hours last night in Paris.

Despite winning his first match at Roland Garros since 2022, Goffin did not appear happy with how he was treated on Court 14.

“When you are insulted for three-and-a-half hours, you have to tease the public a little,” said Goffin. “Clearly, it goes too far, it’s total disrespect. It’s really too much. It’s becoming 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.

“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.”

Continuing to vent his frustrations after the match, Goffin revealed his hope for something to change and suggested that the crowd behaviour is specific to Roland Garros.

“A lot of people are complaining, a lot of umpires feel that there is a lot of disrespect,” claimed the Belgian. “This is 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.”

Goffin will now move onto play fourth seed Alexander Zverev in the second round, with an eighth meeting in their head-to-head taking place tomorrow.

Inside the baseline…

If David Goffin did get spat chewing gum at him during the match, then he is absolutely right that something needs to be done about this. Supporting your home player is great and it is okay to get animated in a respectful manner, but there is a line and that is clearly crossing it. Goffin will need to let go of his frustrations quickly if he is to stand any chance against Alexander Zverev, who is one of the tournament favourites.

READ NEXT: Novak Djokovic claims that ‘it doesn’t appear like’ Rafael Nadal’s last Roland Garros

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Matthew Johns, Tennishead Writer, is a professional tennis journalist with a specialist degree in Sports Journalism. He's a keen tennis player having represented his local club and University plus he's also a qualified tennis coach. Matthew has a deep knowledge of tennis especially the ATP Tour and thrives on breaking big tennis news stories for Tennishead.