French Open 2019
Court Philippe Chatrier during the men's singles first round match between Switzerland's Roger Federer and Italy's Lorenzo Sonego (Photo by Anne-Christine POUJOULAT / AFP)

There are millions of viewers watching French Open 2019 matches all over the globe on their television sets, but on Court Philippe-Chatrier some seats turned out to be vacant while the men’s semifinal matches and women’s final match was taking place on Saturday. 

French Open 2019, Novak Djokovic vs Dominic Thiem
French Open 2019, Novak Djokovic vs Dominic Thiem

The unoccupied corporate seats during the Saturday matches of men’s semi-final between Novak Djokovic and Dominic Thiem, and women’s final between Ashleigh Barty and Marketa Vondrousova in the French Open 2019, were filled by the employees of French Tennis Federation (FFT) since the Roland-Garros organisers asked them to do so, as informed by Reuters.

Around lunchtime, the places meant for officials and corporate sponsors in Court Philippe-Chatrier as mostly vacant. For instance, during the semifinal match between Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal (which took place at lunchtime), the stadium was not full to the brim. 

French Open 2019
French Open 2019, Roger Federer vs Rafael Nadal, semifinals

On Saturday, the employees of French Tennis Federation (FFT) enjoyed the matches of French Open 2019 on Court Philippe-Chatrier by filling up the unoccupied boxes at Stade Roland-Garros.

“Because of the scheduling changes for tomorrow, June 8, the management of the tournament has the pleasure to authorize the employees of the FFT (black and gray badges) and their privies (white badge with black stripe) to access the boxes from 12pm to attend the end of the men’s semi-final and the start of the women’s final,” FFT emailed their employees. 

The FFT laid down the following rules to be which were to be abided by the employees while the matches were in progress. 

“It is well understood that the following rules must be respected: 

  • At every changeover, when the guests enter the court, stand up and stay in proximity of the box. Step aside as the clients arrive.
  • Stay discreet. Take off your accreditation once in the box. Do not bring food.
  • Do not disclose this measure on social media.”