Slow security embarrassed by intruder

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The Independent Online

The French Open may be forced to review its security arrangements after a man ran on to the court and taunted Roger Federer during yesterday's final. The intruder, wearing a Swiss shirt and carrying a Barcelona football flag, was on the court for nearly 20 seconds before he was rugby-tackled by a security guard.

The intruder, who was reported to be Spanish, jumped on to the court from the side opposite the umpire's chair. He danced in front of Federer for several seconds. Federer retreated, but was still receiving no assistance when the intruder tried to place his hat on the player's head.

Pascal Maria, the umpire, was running to help Federer before the first security guards got on to the court. The intruder still had time to evade five guards and hurdle the net before he was tackled by a sixth.

Security was tightened after Monica Seles was stabbed by an intruder in Hamburg in 1993. There have been subsequent court invasions without serious consequence, but what should be of concern is the time it took to deal with yesterday's.