Sports

Player takes video of crowd at French Open

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Gael Monfils, tennis player of France. (AP Photo)

Gael Monfils, tennis player of France. (AP Photo)

PARIS (AP) — As a French Open keepsake, Gael Monfils took some video of the center court crowd Wednesday.

He was playing at the time.

During a changeover before the fourth set of his victory Wednesday over Ernests Gulbis, Monfils requested permission from the chair umpire to videotape the crowd doing the wave.

“I ask, ‘Can I allowed to tape the wave?'” the multitasking Frenchman said in broken English. “He tell me, ‘Sure, you can.’ So I say, ‘OK, I will tape it, like quick. No worries.'”

Monfils remained seated, held his phone close to his face and followed the peak of the wave around the stadium, craning his neck to keep up.

He said the video might be Web-worthy.

“Maybe with YouTube I will have some video editing,” he said.

It’s at least the second time a phone came into play during competition this week. Sergiy Stakhovsky of Ukraine set down his racket and briefly became an amateur photographer during a first-round match Monday.

Angered by a line call, Stakhovsky snapped a photo of the mark left in the clay by the ball, and planned to show the picture to the tournament supervisor.

It’s unclear whether camerawork during a match helps a player’s performance. Stakhovsky lost, while Monfils rallied to beat Gulbis in the second round, 6-7 (5), 6-4, 7-6 (4), 6-2.

When asked about phones on the court, 17-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer said it’s a close call.

“It’s only going to happen more,” he said. “Wouldn’t be surprised if they change the rules because of it. …

“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 in the toilet. 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 bad or disrespectful. So see how it all plays out.”

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