A selfie-obsessed tennis fan rushed up to Roger Federer for a photo on Sunday as the tennis star made his way off court following a first-round victory at the tournament.
It was something of an odd moment, as Federer, ever the gentleman, actually posed for the shot, though at the same time he was clearly disturbed at the failure of security personnel to prevent the smartphone-wielding teenager from accessing the show court.
Speaking after the incident, the tennis pro attacked tournament organizers for the lax security as well as for the lengthy amount of time it took for court-side staff to apprehend the man.
“I’m not happy about it, actually not one second I’m happy about it,” Federer said at the post-match press conference, adding, “But nothing happened so I’m relieved, but clearly it wasn’t a nice situation.”
He mentioned that selfie takers also approached him during a practice session at the tournament a day earlier: “It was just a kid, but then three more kids came, and today on center court where you would think this is a place where nobody can come on, he just wanders on and nothing happens.”
Federer said the tennis court was “where you do your job, where you want to feel safe.”
The episode will no doubt have reminded the tennis champ of a far scarier on-court incident back in 1993 when Monica Seles, then the number one women’s player in the world, was stabbed in the back by a member of the crowd during a match in Hamburg, Germany.
The Swiss player said he hoped there would be “a reaction” from tournament organizers in response to Sunday’s occurrence, adding, “They apologized, and I must say that I appreciated this, but I’d like to see what’s going to happen next.”
The young fan, who according to ESPN was sitting with his father in box seats close to the court, has been banned from future matches at this year’s tournament.
French Tennis Federation director Gilbert Ysern said Sunday tournament organizers “will reinforce the message again that clearly nobody is allowed to get on court in any case at any time for any reason.”
Tennis isn’t the only sport to have hit the headlines over selfie silliness – Tour de France selfie-shooters, for example, have been accused of risking the lives of not only themselves, but also riders, after some were seen stepping out in the road to grab a self-portrait snap during the high-speed cycle race.
And in Hong Kong last year marathon organizers launched a special campaign to discourage runners from taking selfies. The move came after an earlier incident when a competitor suddenly stopped to take a selfie on her smartphone, causing a huge pile-up of runners which, according to reports, “saw many competitors cross the finish line bloodied and bruised.”
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