COVID-19: French Open could be held without fans, says chief Bernard Guidicelli

Updated: May 11, 2020, 08:48 IST | AFP | Paris

The spread of the Coronavirus has halted all tennis since mid-March and will not resume until July 13 at the earliest

Bernard Guidicelli
Bernard Guidicelli

French tennis chief Bernard Guidicelli admitted on Sunday that Roland Garros, already controversially pushed back four months due to the Coronavirus, could be staged behind closed doors.

Guidicelli, who said that the French federation (FFT) had no regrets over its unilateral decision to move the clay court Grand Slam from May 24-June 7 to September 20-October 4, insisted all options remain on the table.

"We haven't ruled out any option. Roland Garros is first and foremost a story of matches and players," he told the Journal du Dimanche. "There is the tournament taking place in the stadium, and the tournament on TV screens. Millions of viewers around the world are waiting. Organising it behind closed doors would allow part of the business model—TV rights [which account for more than a third of the tournament's revenues]—to go ahead. This cannot be overlooked."

The spread of the Coronavirus has halted all tennis since mid-March and will not resume until July 13 at the earliest. Wimbledon has already been cancelled for the first time since the Second World War. The US Open, due to take place in New York from August 31-September 13, is also in question with a decision expected in mid-June.

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