French Open may be held without fans

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The president of the French Tennis Federation says holding the French Open without fans later this year is an option.

The clay-court tournament at Roland Garros was initially slated to be held May 24-June 7, but was postponed amid the coronavirus pandemic and rescheduled for Sept. 20-Oct. 4.

Bernard Giudicelli tells French newspaper Le Journal du Dimanche that “organizing it without fans would allow a part of the economy to keep turning, (like) television rights and partnerships. It’s not to be overlooked.”

Giudicelli adds that “the lack of visibility is genuine” when hosting a tournament without fans but “we are not ruling any option out.”

That could potentially mean moving the starting date back to Sept. 27, something Giudicelli says “does not change much.”

The FFT is refunding all tickets purchased for the original dates of Roland Garros by the end of May and a new ticketing procedure will be opened if the tournament goes ahead.