Officials seem to be planning further restrictions on players in an all-out effort to somehow stage the French Open later this month.

With COVID-19 cases rising in France – third-worst country in Europe behind Spain and the UK – the noose looks like starting to tighten in Paris just as the US Open gets underway in New York with no fans and a deserted site on lockdown.

Spain’s MARCA reports that protocols under consideration by TD Guy Forget and his team include barring players from training onsite at the Roland Garros complex unless it is the day of their match.

Roland Garros Tournament Director Guy Forget Photo Roger Parker International Sports Fotos Ltd

Instead, competitors will have to use more basic facilities 1.5 km away from the complex near the Parc des Princes stadium.

Unlike in New York, Paris is planning to stage qualifying rounds, another complicating factor which will increase the number of people in the tennis mix, though the field will be cut from the usual 128 to 96.

Former champions, usually honoured VIPs, will be given staggered invitations so as not to bring them all together on the same day.

French government officials are due to meet this week to determine crowd size for the untried experiment which will be the 2020 French Open.

The limit has been set at 5,000 per day; tournament officials are pushing for 20,000, though indications are that will not happen.

Players will be virus-tested upon arrival and every four days thereafter; the presence of media outside of TV is yet to be assured.


Leave a Reply