French Open tournament director Guy Forget has said that the event will work closely with the government to make sure they have a good enough crowd and still follow strict health protocols.
Recently, tennis events that have been played in front of fans have run into trouble. While Novak Djokovic’s Adria Tour had to be cancelled after four players, including the World No 1, tested positive for Coronavirus, the All-American Team Cup also saw Frances Tiafoe test positive for the virus on Day 1 itself.
Even as the sport is inching back to life, the French tennis federation (FFT) has announced that French Open will have about 50-60% of the crowd capacity. The US Open, which will be held almost a month earlier, begins on August 31 but will be played behind closed doors.
“We all see soccer on television, it’s wonderful but something is missing without the crowds,” the former world No. 4 was quoted as saying by news agency Reuters.
“We are working closely with the administration, the government, to make sure we can provide some crowd while still following very strict security measures.”
The Frenchman also said that events like the Adria Tour, which did not follow any social distancing or health protocols, were a cautionary tale for the Grand Slam.
“Maybe some people were overconfident there,” Forget added.
“Luckily no one got hurt really bad but even a few cases is too much and we want to avoid that as much as we can. We want to reassure everyone that having people getting ill will be terrible for us. Let’s be really careful, really cautious.”
France has been relaxing Covid-19 restrictions since May, but it will be mandatory for everyone moving in the stadium complex. The French Open, which has been shifted to late September from its usual May start, is expecting around 20,000 spectators daily in the opening week.