French Open

Federer fears on-court phones

2013-05-30 21:10
Roger Federer (AFP)
Paris - Roger Federer has given warning that players taking their mobile phones on to court could undermine the game's integrity by receiving coaching tips.

The French Open has already featured two incidents with Ukraine's Sergiy Stakhovsky using his phone to take a picture of a ball imprint after a contentious line call and local favourite Gael Monfils snapping a Mexican wave in the crowd.

Stakhovsky, who was later fined $2 000 for unsportsmanlike conduct, posted the picture taken during his first-round defeat by Richard Gasquet on his Twitter feed.

Federer, the world number three and seeded second in Paris, said he could see the funny side of such incidents but felt action might be needed to prevent on-court coaching.

"It's only going to happen more," the world number three told reporters. "I think it's pretty funny, actually. The problem is that clearly there could be coaching going on through mobile devices.

"It would probably be so easy to do. Go to the toilet and you hide it somewhere - I'm just saying anything is possible. You have to hope that the players use it in a funny way and it's not meant to be bad or disrespectful."

The use of phones on court is prohibited with officials instructed that no electronic device be permitted "during matches unless approved by the ITF supervisor/referee".

If officials suspect a player has used a device to receive coaching, they could issue a fine of up to $20 000.

Monfils escaped punishment because he asked the umpire for permission to take a picture of the crowd who had risen to salute him during his second-round victory over Ernests Gulbis.

"I asked the chair umpire before if I would be allowed to tape the wave? He told me: 'Sure, you can'," said the Frenchman.

Grand Slam Committee director Bill Babcock told Reuters by email that the subject "will certainly be raised" as part of the ongoing review of the rules and code of conduct.

"Although the current rule is conclusive in that players are not allowed to use devices at all unless approved, we can and should always consider ways to make sure the rule is consistently enforced," he said.

Read more on:    french open  |  roger federer  |  tennis

What To Read Next


Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
1 comment
Comments have been closed for this article.
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk


Which is your favourite Grand Slam of the year?

Love 2 Meet
Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter


With the Absa Premiership in full swing, who will be crowned champions when all is said and done? Will Mamelodi Sundowns defend their title? Or can Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates or Bidvest Wits mount a serious challenge? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.