After months of uncertainty and adapting to the so-called ‘new normal’, the French Open 2020 is underway with the qualifying event. The main draw matches begin on Sunday, September 27th as the top players arrive in the French capital amid all the rules regarding quarantine.
There are players who already have the ‘bubble’ experience at a Grand Slam event from the US Open 2020. However, there are many entering the Roland Garros bubble who are still trying to adapt to the new situation.
As seen in the US Open and already in the clay-court season, there are massive discrepancies in quarantine protocols. However, the French Open 2020 has certain COVID-19 protocols in place with an aim to keep the virus away from the bubble.
The basic coronavirus protocols at French Open 2020
Wearing face masks, except during matches, regular sanitization of tournament areas, and maintaining social distancing is compulsory at all times.
Accommodation for players, team members, and staff
The US Open 2020, permitted players to stay in private homes apart from the tournament hotels. However, the French Open designated two hotels for everyone inside the bubble. They cannot travel outside the bounds of the hotel and the stadium.
COVID-19 test on arrival and frequent tests
Players and their team members are tested upon arrival and restricted to quarantine until the result is out. A second test happens 72 hours later, followed by a test every five days. Coaches have to wear face masks during training.
Stadium access for players at French Open 2020
Two separate player areas are created. Players and their entourages have access to the stadium only on match days. On non-match days, they can visit only the Jean-Bouin training center. The press conferences will happen online.
Stadium access for fans and spectator limit at French Open 2020
Initially, the organizers allowed 11,500 fans daily, divided into three main courts. These are Court Philippe Chatrier, Court Suzanne Lenglen, and Court Simonne Mathieu. This number reduced further to 5,000 fans a day.
Now, the organizers finally settled on 1,000 spectators a day to be allowed into the stadium. This applies across all the 16 courts at the venue. All spectators aged above 11 have to compulsorily wear face masks.
The tournament grounds are also divided into zones. This is with an aim to restrict many people from gathering in one place.
Rules regarding players’ removal from the draw
The French Open 2020 rules state that a player will be removed from the draw even if he/she comes in contact with a coronavirus positive player or entourage member. One positive test of a player, coach, or other team member is enough for a player’s withdrawal from the draw.
There are many restrictions and many changes this year. While everyone involved adjusts to the guidelines and the rules this year, they will hope that the ‘new normal’ is only temporary.