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French Open to Allow Just 1,000 Fans a Day

French Open to Allow Just 1,000 Fans a Day

Friday, 25 September, 2020 - 09:45
Tennis - French Open - Roland Garros, Paris, France - June 7, 2019. General view of the semifinal match between Switzerland's Roger Federer and Spain's Rafael Nadal. REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach

French Open chief Guy Forget said Friday a government order to limit attendance at Roland Garros to a maximum of 1,000 spectators each day was a "tough blow" for the tournament.

Organizers of the French Open, which gets underway four months later than planned in Paris on Sunday, had hoped for a maximum of 5,000.

That figure had already been reduced from 20,000 and then 11,500.

Instead, the French government on Thursday insisted on tougher restrictions to counter the resurgence of the coronavirus.

"We've taken note of the government's decision. We're ready, all the players are here, but it's true it's a tough blow for the tournament," Forget told France Info.

French Prime Minister Jean Castex declared that the Grand Slam tournament must be subject to the same restrictions imposed Thursday on sports events taking place in designated 'red zones' where the coronavirus is showing signs of resurgence.

"We will apply the same rules at Roland Garros as elsewhere," said Castex. "We go from 5,000 to 1,000."

Sources told AFP, however, that the figure does not include credential holders such as officials, media, players and staff.

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