Player safety is vital, insists Judy Murray

Two security guards keep an eye on the spectators after a fan ran onto the court. Picture: AP
Two security guards keep an eye on the spectators after a fan ran onto the court. Picture: AP
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JUDY Murray says that the world’s best players must be able to trust tournament organisers to protect them while they are out on court.

Speaking after a fan was able to breach Roland Garros security on Sunday and approach Roger Federer for a photograph while the 17-times Grand Slam winner was on Court Philippe Chatrier, the British Fed Cup captain and mother of men’s World No 3, Andy Murray, said that the incident had been a wake-up call.

With former Wimbledon and US Open champion Murray due back out on court today, hoping to overcome Portuguese Joao Sousa in the second round of the French Open, and her eldest son, Jamie, involved in the doubles, Murray said players need to be able to focus on their game without concerns for their safety.

“It is one of those things that you don’t think about too much until something like that happens and then you realise how exposed you are and I don’t think the players are comfortable with the realisation that someone was able to get on court and get so close. I think they know that the majority of the fans are totally well intentioned and well behaved but you never know when there may be somebody in there with an 
ulterior motive and I think they do have to be protected.

“If you look at the exposure of tennis players to the media after every match, win or lose, they do give a lot of time to build the profile of the event – and themselves – and then there are the on-court interviews which allow them to speak to the fans so there is already a lot of access, but it is the tournament’s job to make sure the players are safe.

“They shouldn’t need to be worrying about who is behind them [at the change of ends] and, for the most part, I don’t think any of them think about that but when something like this happens it does make them realise that they are actually quite vulnerable and reliant on the security people behind the benches.”