French tennis officials have wrangled a working solution to the issue of fans at the upcoming Paris Bercy Masters, with up to 1,000 per day session to be allowed in.
Qualifying rounds and five night editions will be played behind closed doors, presumably to avoid the mass changeover of crowds between day and night.
The masked public for the indoor tournament starting October 31 will be seated within social distancing guidelines, much in the manner of the recent autumn edition of Roland Garros.
With COVID-19 returning as a major problem in the capital – and in much of Europe – tennis officials want to make sure of crowd safety,
“The plan, which is in keeping with the rules observed at Roland-Garros, will allow tennis fans to attend one of the season’s last major events and give the players the privilege of playing in front of a crowd, albeit a smaller one than usual,” a statement read.
“All spectators over the age of 11 must wear a mask or face covering at all times.
“The FFT will take every step to ensure that protective measures and social distancing rules are respected and will change the way spectator flows are managed.”
The singles draw will be increased from the usual 48 players to 56, resulting in more first round matches. Prize money for the champion will be cut by 70 per cent to EUR 300,000 while earlier rounds and qualifying will see a boost in pay.
Main photo:- Rafa Nadal makes entrance to Paris Masters 2019, and is set to appear next month. Photo Roger Parker International Sports Fotos Ltd