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French Open not considering event behind closed doors

Agence France-Presse June 19,2020 - 10:35 AM

Spain’s Rafael Nadal (L) returns the ball to Austria’s Dominic Thiem during their men’s singles final match, on day fifteen of The Roland Garros 2019 French Open tennis tournament in Paris on June 9, 2019. (Photo by Christophe ARCHAMBAULT / AFP)

French Open organizers have “absolutely” rejected the scenario of playing the tournament behind closed doors, the president of the French Tennis Federation said on Wednesday.

Bernard Giudicelli said all of the tickets sold for the tournament in its original May 24-June 7 dates had been reimbursed but tickets for the new dates of September 27-October 11 would go on sale at the end of this month.

However, the US Open, the sport’s preceding Grand Slam, will not allow fans on its New York site for its August 31-September 13 tournament as a safeguard against the spread of the coronavirus.

Asked if the notion to have Roland Garros completely empty of spectators had been binned, Guidicelli replied: “Absolutely”.

“It will be a number, a percentage which will be defined by mutual agreement with the public authorities,” he added, when asked how many fans will be allowed.

In 2019, there were 520,000 paying spectators at the tournament.

“This kind of option requires real cooperation with the public authorities. It is still premature to be able to give even an estimate today.

“We’ll have several working scenarios by the end of the month and it is only around this time that we will be able to say how we are going to organize and market the tickets.

“We have not yet made a final decision.”

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