French Open could be staged without fans, says FFT president Bernard Giudicelli
Last Updated: 10/05/20 1:05pm
The French Open could be held without fans later this year, the president of the French Tennis Federation said on Sunday.
The clay-court tournament at Roland Garros was initially slated to be held May 24-June 7, but was postponed amid the coronavirus pandemic and rescheduled for September 20-October 4.
Bernard Giudicelli has told French newspaper Le Journal du Dimanche that organisers are considering the prospect of hosting it without fans present, as well as delaying its start by a week.
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"Organising it without fans would allow a part of the economy to keep turning, (like) television rights and partnerships. It's not to be overlooked," Giudicelli said in the newspaper interview. "We're not ruling any option out."
Giudicelli, however, conceded that the lack of visibility when hosting a tournament without fans is a concern.
Recent reports have speculated that the French Open could be rescheduled again.
"The 20th or the 27th, that does not change much," Giudicelli said.
The FFT is refunding all tickets purchased for the original dates of Roland Garros by the end of May, and a new ticketing procedure will be opened if it goes ahead.
Tennis Australia chief Craig Tiley recently admitted the 2021 Australian Open could be cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic, having seen January's tournament go ahead as schedule prior to the global sporting hiatus.
Wimbledon, which had been set to take place between June 29-July 12, has also been cancelled, while a decision over the fate of the US Open is expected to be made in June ahead of its scheduled start date of August 24.