Goffin claims fan spat chewing gum at him during French Open match

By Sports Desk May 29, 2024

David Goffin has claimed a member of the crowd spat chewing gum at him during Tuesday's first-round win over Giovanni Mpetshi Perricard at the French Open.

Goffin was booed by the crowd on court 14 after his 4-6 6-4 6-3 6-7 (4-7) 6-3 win over the home favourite and responded by cupping his ears.

The Belgian – who reached his highest singles ranking of seventh in 2017 – will face Alexander Zverev in the second round on Thursday, after the German eliminated Rafael Nadal.

He was enraged by the treatment he received during his opening match, accusing French tennis fans of being less respectful than their counterparts at other grand slams. 

"Clearly, it goes too far, it's total disrespect. It's really too much," Goffin told reporters. "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 was getting complicated. That's why I wanted to stay calm. If I started to get angry about it, it could have destabilised me.

"I think it only happens in France. At Wimbledon, obviously, there's not that. Or in Australia either. At the US Open, it's still rather quiet. Here, it's a really unhealthy atmosphere."

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