Rising cases in France haved forced president Emmanuel Macron to enforce tougher restrictions to curb the threat of a new wave of infections – putting a huge question mark over Roland Garros.
The Grand Slam is due to start on May 24 and run until June 7, but the tournament could be severely impacted if France’s Covid rates continue to surge and the lockdown measures stay in place for too long.
The French Open risks being cancelled this summer after France was plunged into lockdown
Gilles Moretton, president of the French Tennis Federation, believes it is still ‘on track’ to go ahead as planned, but the country gripped by virus crisis he feels organisers may have to take ‘the necessary measures’ and cancel the competition.
‘At the moment, we are on track, the tournament is on the scheduled dates,’ Moretton said, as reported by the Independent.
‘But if we are told to lockdown for two months, we will have to take the necessary measures, the worst being the outright cancellation, but I dare not imagine that.’
France tennis chief Gilles Moretton said organisers could take the decision if Covid measures are in place for too long
He said organisers were speaking to players constantly and keeping an eye on developments
Moretton insists officials are lining up ‘a lot of options’ for putting on the tournament, adding it is very likely there will be a recuced number of spectators in attendance, and expects it to start behind closed doors if it gets the thumbs up.
He said organisers were in constant communication with players and that they were keeping a close eye on developments before taking any further steps.
‘We are studying a lot of options for Roland Garros 2021,’ Moretton added.
Last year Roland Garros was moved to September and only played in front of 1000 fans a day
‘There is a total range, or almost total because I dare not imagine a 100 per cent crowd level.
‘But that can start from behind closed doors to a level that will not be 100 per cent. All the options with us are ready.
‘We meet all the players regularly and we will have to wait to see how things turn out.’
The French Open was impact by Covid last year – being forced to move to September, with a maximum of 1,000 fans allowed in per day.