Roland Garros may be behind closed doors, said the French tennis boss | Instant News

Paris (AFP) – French tennis chief Bernard Guidicelli acknowledged on Sunday that Roland Garros, who had controversially withdrawn four months because of the corona virus, could be staged behind closed doors.

Guidicelli, who said that the French federation (FFT) “had no regrets” over the unilateral decision to move the Grand Slam clay court from May 24 to June 7 to September 20 to October 4, insisted all options remained on the table.

“We have not ruled out any options. Roland Garros is first and foremost the story of the match and the players,” he told the Journal du Dimanche.

“There are tournaments that take place in stadiums, and tournaments on TV screens.

“Millions of viewers around the world are waiting. Organizing it in private will allow part of the business model – television rights (which account for more than a third of tournament revenue) – to move forward. This cannot be ignored.”

The spread of coronavirus has stopped all tennis since mid-March and will not continue until July 13 at the earliest.

Wimbledon has been canceled for the first time since the Second World War.

The US Open, which will take place in New York from August 31-September 13, was also questioned with the decision expected in mid-June.

Nearly 500,000 fans attend Roland Garros regularly every year.

However, an indication of thought around the 2020 edition came on Thursday when the FFT decided to return all tickets purchased for the tournament’s original date rather than transfer it.

Guidicelli acknowledged that the rescheduled French Open could even be pushed back one more week to begin on 27 September.

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

“I have regular discussions with Andrea Gaudenzi (ATP president), Steve Simon (WTA president) and David Haggerty (head of ITF) and other calls planned next week to see how we have progressed.

“We are working well together, but it is still too early to determine the exact schedule.”

Guidicelli insisted that the FFT had the right to shift the tournament back four months with the death rate from coronavirus in France standing at 26,310 on Saturday night.

“Roland Garros is the driving force of tennis in France, this is what feeds the players in our ecosystem (revenue of 260 million euros, or 80% of FFT turnover),” added Guidicelli, describing himself as “a good father” “.

“We think of them first, protect them. We made brave choices and today, no one regrets.”

“A tournament without a date is a boat without a rudder – we don’t know where we are going.

“We position ourselves as far as possible on the calendar, wanting to not spoil the big event, so that no Masters 1000 or Grand Slam will be affected. The turn of events seems to have proven us right.”

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