Fans injured from freak accident in French Open quarters

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A metal sheet fell from the scoreboard at Roland Garros.

Three spectators sustained “minor injuries” during the quarter-final match between Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Kei Nishikori on Court Philippe Chatrier after a metal sheet from the scoreboard fell on a section of the stands on Tuesday.

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In incredibly windy conditions, Tsonga was about to serve for a two-set lead before play was halted as the spectators were ushered away from the danger area.

One of the injured spectators was escorted by medics and appeared to be waving and smiling at the crowd.

The official Twitter account of Roland Garros tweeted: “A sheet of metal fell from the scoreboard onto members of the public, three of whom sustained minor injuries.”

Play resumed almost 40 minutes after the incident.

Tournament director Gilbert Ysern held a press conference later in the evening to explain what happened.

“As some of you may have seen, it’s just metal plaque, a three‑metre‑long metal plaque that fell from something we had put over the scoreboard to protect them from the pigeons,” he said.

“So it suddenly fell down, which of course nobody had anticipated, and it fell on a couple of people underneath.

“Three of them were taken to First Aid services, and two of them had nothing in fact, and just one person had an injury.He had an open injury on one of his wrists, so he was taken to the hospital for an investigation on his wrist to find exactly what he has, what he’s suffering from.

“As we speak, our organisation is with this person, of course.Of course this person and his three colleagues who were with him were I must say, shocked by what had happened.They were with this person who was injured at the infirmary.

“We will invite them, of course, when they want to come back. We will do good things for them, of course.”

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Roger Federer aims for more Roland Garros glory

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All-Swiss affair: Roger Federer meets Stan Wawrinka in the last eight.

Roger Federer has said lifting a second career Roland Garros trophy in Paris this fortnight would be “unbelievable” and that it is not a far-fetched goal.

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The world No2 smoothly completed his suspended fourth round match with Gael Monfils yesterday, returning after an overnight break to win two sets and beat the ailing Frenchman 6-3, 4-6, 6-4, 6-1.

The win saw Federer make a return to the French Open quarter-finals – for an 11th time – after missing out last year having lost a five-setter to Ernests Gulbis in the fourth round. 

But this year, if the Swiss believes in omens, he would be glad to know that the three previous times he has beaten Monfils at Roland Garros, he has gone on to reach the final.

“It would be unbelievable, no doubt,” said Federer of the idea of winning the title on Sunday.

“Clearly those thoughts also creep into my mind sometimes and go ‘how would that feel again?’ Then again, you’re like ‘whew, let’s not go that far down the tournament yet’.

“At the same time, sometimes I think ‘how does it feel if I take the plane tomorrow and go home if I lose today?’ 

“Everything crosses your mind as you sit at breakfast and you have for once a quiet moment when the kids are not right there. 

“I’m realistic. I know there is a chance. At the same time, I know how hard it is. Just very pleased to get back in the quarters. It really means a lot to me. I feel there is a lot of tennis left for me to play here.”

Federer will have no rest day after the schedule changes due to the rain and will take on his good friend, Olympic doubles partner and fellow Swiss Stan Wawrinka today for a place in the semi-finals.

“It is not a traditional match. There aren’t too many Swiss players in the draw. For us, it’s always special to play each other. I’m quite positive about it. So there will be a Swiss guy in the semi-finals,” said Federer, who leads the Open Era in most grand slam quarter-finals reached with 44.

I will pull out all the stops to advance to the next round. If I don’t make it, I will be very happy for Stan.” 

Monfils blamed a bout of flu for his lack of fire against Federer and plans on taking better care of his health and nutrition.

“I would like to know what is the secret to be a machine, not to be injured, not to be sick,” said Monfils.

“So it was a cold and I was slapped in the face because of the weather conditions. I need to make progress to be at the top of my game.”

Kei Nishikori and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga will contest the other last-eight clash on the schedule today.

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VIDEO: Novak Djokovic favourite to reach semi-finals – Rafa Nadal

niall 2/06/2015
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Rafa Nadal reflected on his win at the French Open on Monday, which sets up an enticing quarter-final against Novak Djokovic.









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