Plans for fans at the upcoming French Open are starting to fall into place as tournament bosses cooperate with the Paris government to iron out the inevitable COVID kinks.
The May 30 start of the clay major – delayed by a week – will allow 1,000 fans per court on the three major showcourts at Roland Garros.
That will work out to 35 per cent of capacity around the grounds for the first 10 days of the 15-day Grand Slam.
But things get better for the public from the quarter-final stage onwards when the limit will increase to 65 per cent, of 5,000 (one-third of capacity) on Philippe Chatrier and one half of the available seats on Suzanne Lenglen, according to French sports minister Jean-Michel Blanquer.
He told France 3 TV at the weekend: “The gauge is set at 35 per cent (when the tournament starts), with a maximum of 1,000 spectators… per court.”
Despite all the optimism, the final decision rests upon France’s exit from the current strict lockdown regulations and curfew, which is now set for May 19.
At last year’s delayed edition of the major in Paris last October, a total of only 1,000 spectators were allowed into the entire tennis complex.