Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : May 25th 2015 Contents A53
Monday, May 25, 2015 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
PARIS---For Roger Federer, the men-
ace did not come from the other side
of the net.
After dispatching Colombian Ale-
jandro Falla in straight sets, the 17-
time Grand Slam winner was about to
leave centre court yesterday when a
young man ran down the stands and
made his way to the Swiss star unhin-
dered. The fan brazenly put his hand
across his shoulder to try and get a
selfie with him.
Federer looked surprised, then a bit
uncomfortable as he seemed to ques-
tion with a hand gesture why the secu-
rity guards did not intervene. One of
them finally grabbed the man and took
While there was no ill intent from
this fan, the incident raised concerns
about security at the event and clearly
"I m not happy about it. Obviously
not one second I m happy about it,"
Federer said, adding that he received
an apology from tournament director
Gilbert Ysern. "It happened yesterday
in the practice, too. I think it s true for
all players that you have to feel safe
when we play, feel safe on the courts.
It shouldn t happen too often. It s hap-
pened twice in two days and also in
2009 during the final. I think people
should react more quickly. First, it
should never happen."
Ysern said there is no reason to
change the security procedures at the
tournament, blaming "a lack of judg-
ment" from the security officer who
was not quick enough to react. He
added that the fan was identified and
won t be able to attend more matches
at the tournament.
"There are other moments when
people want to take photos, to sign a
piece of paper. That s okay. We have
time for that. Time slots for that,"
Ysern said. "But on the courts, it s
sacred, it s forbidden at any moment
for whatever reason."
That was the only incident in an
otherwise smooth start to the French
Open for Federer, who advanced to the
second round with a 6-3, 6-3, 6-4
win over Falla. On a sunny first day
of play at Roland Garros, last year s
runner-up Simona Halep also advanced
in straight sets in the women s draw.
Facing a player who pushed him to
five sets at Wimbledon five years ago,
Federer was never threatened this time,
extending his unbeaten run against the
111th-ranked Falla to 8-0.
Federer s flashy outfit, with pink
shorts and a lilac shirt, was almost as
eye-catching as some of the shots the
former top-ranked player produced.
The 17-time Grand Slam broke for a
2-1 lead in the second set and wrapped
it up with another break in the ninth
game. Falla called a trainer to get his
right thigh massaged in the third set,
then was broken in the 10th game when
he sent a shot wide.
On the women s side, the third-
seeded Halep hit an ace on match
point to beat Russian Evgenia Rodina
7-5, 6-4, while ninth-seeded Ekaterina
Markova breezed past American wild
card Louisa Chirico 6-4, 6-2.
Halep made a big breakthrough at
the French Open last year, losing in
final to Maria Sharapova after not con-
ceding a set in her previous match-
es.Halep, who said she is stronger than
last year both physically and mentally,
is bidding to become the first Roman-
ian to win a Grand Slam title since
Virginia Ruzici at the French Open in
"I have stronger body and I have
improved a lot in my game," she said.
"Serve is better, so I feel more con-
fident now with my game."
Up againt Halep in the second round
will be veteran Mirjana Lucic-Baroni,
who defeated American Lauren Davis
6-3, 3-6, 6-3. Lucic-Baroni, who won
her first match at Roland Garros since
2002, upset Halep at the U.S. Open
"I have not good memories from
that match," Halep said. "I just was
blocked and I couldn t hit the ball."
On paper, the 33-year-old Federer
has a relatively easy draw until the
fourth round, where he could meet
13th-seeded Gael Monfil before a
potential quarterfinal with his Davis
Cup teammate Stan Wawrinka, who
beat Marsel Ilhan 6-3, 6-2, 6-3.
Federer, who achieved a career Grand
Slam by winning the French Open in
2009 after three runner-up finish, has
not made it to the final on the Parisian
clay since 2011. He lost in the fourth
round last year but has been playing
excellent tennis recently and has a 26-
5 record in 2015. On clay, he lost in
final in Rome after claiming an 85th
career title in Istanbul.
Among the seeded players to advance
to the second round Sunday were also
No. 5 Kei Nishikori, No. 19 Roberto
Bautista Agut, No. 22 Philipp
Kohlschreiber and No. 24 Ernests Gul-
bis. The first seeded player to bow out
was No. 25 Ivo Karlovic, who lost 7-
6 (5), 6-4, 6-4 to Marcos Baghdatis.
A boy who climbed
down from the
stands takes a
Roger Federer in
the first round
match of the
French Open after
Alejandro Falla at
the Roland Garros
stadium, in Paris,
"I'm not happy about it. Obviously not one second I'm
happy about it. It happened yesterday in the practice,
too. I think it's true for all players that you have to feel
safe when we play, feel safe on the courts. It shouldn't
happen too often. It's happened twice in two days and
also in 2009 during the final. I think people should
react more quickly. First, it should never happen."
--- Roger Federer
17-time Grand Slam winner
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