Australian firebrand Nick Kyrgios is unlikely to play the French Open and believes the organisers of the clay-court Grand Slam are not taking the Coronavirus pandemic seriously.
Unlike the US Open, which was played behind closed doors, the French Open will allow a maximum of 11500 spectators every day. The European country, though, is going through a second wave of Covid-19 infections, and recorded the highest daily count of 10,561 cases on September 12.
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“I am most likely not going to play,” Kyrgios, who had missed the American swing as well, told News Corp. “Especially with the cases rising there. I don’t feel comfortable to go there and play.”
“They are thinking about doing it with crowds. I don’t think the tournament is taking it seriously. It’s disappointing the level of seriousness they are taking towards it,” he added. “We all know how tough this pandemic has been.”
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At the two main showcourts of Roland Garros, Philippe-Chatrier and Suzanne-Lenglen, a maximum of 5000 spectators will be allowed per day, and another 1500 at the smaller Simonne-Mathieu court. It will be mandatory for everyone over the age of 11 to wear masks.
Former French Open champion Simona Halep said that she was hopeful the organisers would keep the players isolated from the fans.
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“I just read that they will have fans,” the Romanian said. “But I’m pretty sure that it’s going to be very strict.”
“We cannot be with the fans,” the 2018 French Open champion said. “We cannot be with the people that are not in the bubble, so I think they will be separate. Hopefully it’s going to be safe, and we will feel like here, like in the bubble.”
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‘King of Clay’ Rafael Nadal, who will play his first match since February at the Italian Open against Pablo Carreno Busta, said it was a wait and watch game for him.
“I don’t know what’s going on. I don’t know what’s the situation’s going to look like in Roland Garros,” he told reporters on Monday.
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“Let’s see how the virus evolves the next couple of weeks. Hopefully in a good way. Doesn’t look like that, no? Let’s see. We need to be patient and we need to wait to see how the situation improves.”