With France entering a fresh lockdown for the entire month of April due to a COVID-19 surge, May’s traditional staging of Roland Garros will likely take on a pandemic look for the second straight edition.
New federation president Gilles Moretton, a former player, has outlined various scenarios to AFP for the edition due to begin on May 23.
The 2020 event was not played until the autumn chill of October due to a postponement as the COVID crisis struck. Crowds then were limited by the government to a maximum of 1,000 per day.
It’s looking a lot like deja vu this this time around, the tennis boss said.
“There is the total range… (of options), I cannot imagine a 100 percent crowd level.” .
But Moretton added: “At the moment we are on track, the tournament will be on the scheduled dates,.
“But if there is a general (national) confinement for two months (which would run through May), we will necessarily have to take measures—at worst, complete cancellation – but I dare not imagine that.”
France has restricted European and other entries at national borders, and established a month’s worth of “lockdown life” for the population, with people restricted to within 10 kms of their home areas.
Pro sports have the go-ahead to be staged – but as for now, that is without fans.
No precautionary quarantine for players will be enforced, such as was the controversial case in February prior to the Australian Open.
The strict French limitations are sure to affect the Monte Carlo Masters, which begins April 11 on French territory, home ground of the Monte Carlo Country Club.
Main photo:- A sparse crowd at the 2020 French Open Ladies Singles Final – by Roger Parker International Sports Fotos Ltd.