Roland Garros’ initial plan was to get started with 20,000 fans, i.e., 60 percent of their capacity. But with rising coronavirus cases in France, they reduced the number to 11,500 across the three big courts in the avenue. With the French Open 2020 dates approaching and the protocols of the government, the spectator count came down to 5,000 and only Court Philippe-Chatrier was dedicated to the audience.
Now, French Prime Minister Jean Castex has dictated that Roland Garros premises must comprise only 1000 people, including the spectators, players, a player’s teammates, organizers, and other officials.
“The gauge is lowered to 1,000 people,” Prime Minister Jean Castex confirmed this Thursday evening on France 2. “We will apply the same rules at Roland Garros as elsewhere. There is no reason why we do not apply the same rules as everyone else.”
Logically, just the players, match officials, staff, media, ball kids, and tournament organizers would easily sum up to 1000 or even more at a Grand Slam event. This clearly indicates that there is no room for spectators.
Looks Like no spectators at Roland Garros 2020. https://t.co/SsjfiGTq8E
— José Morgado (@josemorgado) September 24, 2020
This is heartbreaking news for the tennis community, who were gearing up for live audiences after a long time. Even financially, this diktat comes as a disaster for tournament officials. They will lose a sizeable portion of the revenue with the cancelation of live audiences.
French Open 2020 Draw
The WTA and ATP draws for French Open 2020 were revealed amidst all this chaos. In the women’s section, top seed Simona Halep will potentially face 23 time Grand Slam champion Serena Williams in the semifinals of the event.
King of clay Rafael Nadal will potentially face arch-nemesis and new Grand Slam champion Dominic Thiem in the finals. In the finals, he might take on his perennial foe Novak Djokovic to compete for his 13th title on the Parisian clay.