French tennis chief Bernard Giudicelli has said they are considering all options for the French Open 2020 including staging it without fans. Earlier this year, the year’s second Grand Slam tournament was controversially move to September with its unilateral decision drawing surprise from world tennis bodies and players. Also Read - Coronavirus LIVE: Who Will be Responsible For Spike in Cases in Bengal, Asks Mamata, Shramik Special Spat on
While Giudicelli has no regrets over the call, he does say it may go ahead behind closed doors. Also Read - Kiran Kumar Explains His COVID-19 Journey, Says 'Ate in Disposable Utensils'
“We haven’t ruled out any option. Roland Garros is first and foremost a story of matches and players,” he was quoted as saying by news agency AFP. “There is the tournament taking place in the stadium, and the tournament on TV screens.” Also Read - ICC Could Formalise T20 World Cup Postponement Today, October Window Likely For IPL
Organisers of French Open have already reimbursed all tickets brought for the original dates.
“Millions of viewers around the world are waiting. Organising it behind closed doors would allow part of the business model — television rights (which account for more than a third of the tournament’s revenues) — to go ahead. This cannot be overlooked,” he said.
All professional tennis has been suspended due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic with no resumption at least till July 13. The Wimbledon Championships has already been cancelled this year while US Tennis Association (USTA) will take a decision on US Open by mid-June.
Guidicelli said there’s a possibility of shifting the clay-court event further by a week so as to allow a break of two weeks after the conclusion of US Open.
“I have regular discussions with Andrea Gaudenzi (ATP president), Steve Simon (WTA president) and David Haggerty (ITF head) and another call is planned next week to see how we have progressed. We are working well together, but it is still a bit early to precisely determine the schedule,” he revealed.
Guidicelli defended the decision to postpone the event saying, “Roland Garros is the driving force of tennis in France, it is what feeds the players in our ecosystem. We think of them first, protecting them (players). We made a courageous choice and today, no one regrets it.”