French tennis boss Gilles Moretton said he dares not imagine the prospect of the French Open being canceled in May after President Emmanuel Macron announced new lockdown measures that could threaten the annual Roland Garros tournament.
An alarming spike in Covid-19 infections has led French leader Macron to introduce new restrictions to curb the spread of the potentially deadly virus. This raises significant concerns that the tournament, which is slated to begin May 24th, may no longer take place if the lockdown restrictions are expanded.
French tennis federation president Moretton remains confident that the tournament is “on track” but fears that he will have to take “necessary action” to cancel the Grand Slam event if the situation in the country is right deteriorates.
“At the moment we are on the right track, the tournament is on schedule,” he told the Independent. “But if we are asked to lock up for two months, we have to take the necessary measures – the worst is complete cancellation, but I can’t imagine that.”
Moretton sees the tournament proceeding with a reduced number of fans – likely without the crowds, at least on the opening days.
He also stated that the tournament team is in constant contact with the players and is closely monitoring developments surrounding the spread of Covid-19 across France.
“We are examining many options for Roland-Garros 2021,” he said. “There’s a total reach, or almost a total reach, because I can’t imagine a 100 percent audience.
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“But that can start behind closed doors to a level that is not 100 percent achieved. All options with us are ready.
“We meet with all the players on a regular basis and we have to wait and see how things develop.”
Should Moretton’s worst fears materialize, it would be the second year in a row that Covid-19 has severely impacted the tournament after the virus forced the postponement to September last year and only 1,000 fans were allowed to participate per day.
The Spaniard Rafael Nadal won the men’s tournament and Iga Swiatek from Poland took over the female crown.
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