The French Open, which was postponed to September from May because of the coronavirus outbreak, could be now held without fans, the organisers of the claycourt Grand Slam have declared.
Roland Garros had been scheduled for May 24 to June 7 before the French tennis federation (FFT) postponed it to September 20 – October 4 in an attempt to save the tournament from falling victim to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Last week the FFT stated all tickets bought for this year’s French Open would be cancelled and reimbursed instead of being transferred.
The tennis season was cancelled in early March because of the pandemic, and the hiatus will continue at least until mid-July with many nations in lockdown.
Wimbledon has been suspended while the status of the U.S. Open, scheduled to take place in late August, is still unclear.
The FFT was criticised when they declared in mid-March that the French Open could be switched, with players bemoaning a lack of communication as the new dates clashed with the hardcourt game.
Organisers said last week they’d been in talks with the sport’s governing bodies to fine-tune the calendar amid media reports that the Grand Slam event could be delayed further by a week and start on September 27.
The delayed beginning would give players a two-week window between the end of the U.S. Open, played on the hardcourts of New York, and the French Open.