Tennis: French Open Prepared To Hold Behind Closed Doors

By Ibrahim Taiwo, The Nigerian Voice Sports
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The spread of the coronavirus has halted all tennis events since mid-March and will not resume until July 13 at the earliest.

However, according to French tennis chief Bernard Guidicelli, the rescheduled French Open could be played behind closed doors.

Guidicelli stated this in the early hours of Sunday that the French federation (FFT) has no regrets over its unilateral decision to move the clay court Grand Slam from May 24 - June 7 to September 20 - October 4.

"We haven't ruled out any option. Roland Garros is first and foremost a story of matches and players," he told the Journal du Dimanche.

"There is the tournament taking place in the stadium, and the tournament on TV screens.

"Millions of viewers around the world are waiting. Organising it behind closed doors would allow part of the business model - television rights (which account for more than a third of the tournament's revenues) - to go ahead. This cannot be overlooked."

Wimbledon has already been cancelled for the first time since the Second World War while The US Open, due to take place in New York from August 31-September 13, is also in question with a decision expected in mid-June.

Guidicelli also admitted that the start of the rescheduled French Open could even be pushed back a further week to begin on September 27.

That would allow a two-week break between the US Open and Roland Garros.

"I have regular discussions with Andrea Gaudenzi (president of the ATP), Steve Simon (president of the WTA) and David Haggerty (head of the ITF) and another call is planned next week to see how we have progressed.

"We are working well together, but it is still a bit early to precisely determine the schedule."