French Open

‘We may have to cancel,’ says France tennis president on French Open following new countrywide COVID measures

The president of the French tennis federation has spoken about next month’s Slam as new lockdown measures in France have thrown the French Open into a state of uncertainty. 

French tennis federation (FFT) president Gilles Moretton is confident that the event can still be held over the scheduled period, but further adjustments may be necessary.

‘There is the total range,’ Moretton told AFP. ‘Or, almost total, because I dare not imagine a 100 percent crowd level,’ he added.

‘At the moment we are on track, the tournament is on the scheduled dates.

‘But if we are told a general confinement for two months, we will necessarily have to take measures—at worst, complete cancellation, but I dare not imagine that.’

France is under new lockdown measures for the next four weeks, enforced in the country until essentially the end of April. The restrictions include a 7pm curfew and 10km movement limitations. Professional sports can still go ahead, but without any fans.

The FFT will be hoping that such measures will be lifted rather than extended after April, with the French Open main draw set to begin on 23rd May.

‘We meet all the players regularly,” Moretton continued on the subject of current actions.

‘Before us, there are other tournaments like Monte Carlo which takes place on the same territory [and Madrid and Rome] are tournaments not too far away.’

The FFT can learn from upcoming tournaments on handling the staging of Roland Garros, as well as the experience of the 2020 event, postponed four months and crowd numbers held at a maximum of 1,000 per day.