The world No 2 was leaving Philippe Chatrier court following a first-round 6-3, 6-3, 6-4 win over Columbia’s Alejandro Falla when a young boy came up to him out of the crowd. It was several seconds before the intruder was removed by security.
An annoyed Federer said after the match: ‘All of a sudden he was next to me, I didn’t know who he was. He tried to take a picture and nobody’s reacting, and I realize it’s just some guy out of the crowd.’
The Swiss added that a similar incident had already happened to him here in Paris.
‘It happened yesterday (Saturday) in practice too, it was just a kid but then three or four kids came,’ he said. ‘And today on centre court where you would think this is a place where nobody can come on, he just wanders on and nothing happens.
‘Normally I only speak on behalf of myself but in this situation I think I can speak on behalf of all the players because (the court) is where you do your job. It’s where you feel safe so clearly I’m not happy about it but nothing happened so I’m relieved but it wasn’t a very nice situation to be in.
‘Gilbert Ysern (tournament director of Roland Garros) already came and apologised to me and we just had a quick conversation, I told him what I think needs to happen.
‘I’m sure they’ll take the necessary steps now but this doesn’t only mean for this tournament and for this year it means for all the tournaments we play all the years coming up. We need to make sure it’s safe out there and people don’t just wander on the court, like a free pass.’
Ysern said: ‘I understand (Federer) was p****d off about what happened on the court. It’s embarrassing, of course, for an organiser, it shows that we made a mistake and we have to make sure it doesn’t happen again.’
But the tournament director denied that the security procedures themselves were at fault, saying that the incident was due to a ‘lack of judgement’ by the staff on Philippe Chatrier.
‘There’s no reason for us to change the security procedures,’ he said. ‘Clearly the security people who were on court did not do the job they should have done, to say the least.’
Ysern added that the boy who ran on the court would be ‘thrown out for the rest of the tournament’.
This was not the first time Federer has been faced with an intruder here at Roland Garros. In the 2009 final, which Federer won, a spectator dressed in the Swiss colours ran on the court and tried to put a red hat on his head.
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