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French Open crowd went too far with spitting: Goffin

Belgian David Goffin has accused local fans of showing "total disrespect" at the French Open, saying one even spat chewing gum at him during his highly charged first-round victory over local hope Giovanni Mpetshi Perricard.

But Australian wildcard Adam Walton, who was also on the receiving end of vociferous crowd in his first-round exit to Arthur Rinderknech, insisted the partisan fans in his match didn't compare to the hostile opposition supporters he's endured while playing college matches in the US.

Roland Garros home crowds are notorious for turning matches involving home stars into a bit of a bearpit, with Australian No.1 Alex de Minaur having complained about them crossing a line a couple of years ago on an intimidating afternoon when he lost to Frenchman Hugo Gaston.

His comments then were echoed after a raucous affair on Court 14 on Tuesday when veteran Goffin beat home wildcard Perricard in five sets and was so incensed by the way the crowd had treated him that he cupped his ears in response to jeers as he left the court.

Walton no complaints
Adam Walton had no complaints about the home crowd's noisy support for his French opponent. (AP PHOTO)

"When you are insulted for three-and-a-half hours, you have to tease the public a little," Goffin told Belgian media. "Clearly, it goes too far, it's total disrespect.

"It's really too much. It's becoming football, soon there will be smoke bombs, hooligans and fights in the stands. It's starting to become ridiculous. Some people are there more to cause trouble than to create an atmosphere.

"Someone spat out their chewing gum at me. It was getting complicated. That's why I wanted to stay calm. If I started to get angry about it, it could have destabilised me."

Goffin urged organisers to take action, saying a lot of players were now complaining. "This is repeated a lot in the locker room and among the ATP authorities. We're going to have to do something about that.

"I think it only happens in France. At Wimbledon, obviously, there's not that. Or in Australia either. At the US Open, it's still rather quiet. Here, it's a really unhealthy atmosphere."

American No.1 Taylor Fritz was targeted with persistent boos and whistles on Court Philippe Chatrier last year and tried to shush fans as he went on to beat Rinderknech.

But against the same French player on Monday, Brisbane's overseas grand slam newcomer Walton, who went down in straight sets, had no complaints despite the Parisians roaring on the former French No.1 with familiar passion.

"When I played Australian Open, it was all for me. And then obviously here, it was all against me," said Walton, who spent five years playing for the University of Tennessee in away matches amid a febrile atmosphere.

"College tennis prepped me, I played in some pretty hostile environments, and so I tried to not let it affect me, and I don't really think it did.

"It's very loud and you just try and block it out best you can - and I thought I did an okay job with that. I don't believe the crowd influenced the way I played."

Tournament organisers said in a statement later: "The public are incredibly enthusiastic, particularly on the outside courts. However, they must of course show full respect to all players while doing so.

"Oversight bodies are in place to make sure rules are followed.

"Although it's only natural fans share their excitement and cheer on their favourites, this must not in any case go against the values of tennis or consideration for the players."