The Coronavirus pandemic isn’t showing any signs of eradication. The global economy has taken a major tumble. Air and ocean travel has all but come to a stop. Schools and universities have been closed. And, yes, we will not be seeing any professional tennis for the next six weeks. But despite this ongoing global havoc, the French Open tournament organizers have announced some positive (positively crazy..?) news.
Yesterday, Roland Garros organizers stated they have ‘no intention of canceling’ the second Grand Slam of the year amid the coronavirus widespread:
“There are still a few months to go before the event. For the time being, we have no intention of canceling the event. The French Tennis Federation will, as is its responsibility, follow the government’s lead when making any such decisions.”
For now, the ATP and WTA have ordered a six-week suspension of professional tennis all across the world, with tournaments scheduled to start back up on April 20, 2020. But as the COVID-19 is new, the pandemic span is unknown, and therefore, the suspension period could be extended.
Guy Forget, the French Open tournament director told L’Equipe:
“That also poses problems. If it is going to be viable there has to be time. But at the same time, it’s going to arrive rapidly. The unknown is the amount of time it is going to be going on.”
The tournament is also considering hosting the event with no spectators in the stands. But, by doing so, the French Open would lose more than 200M Euro (about 222M USD).
Whatever it may be, the decision to play with or without fans present, or cancel altogether won’t happen until later into the season.
“I think, as a priority, of the health of the spectators and players. We will explore all the possibilities but anyway, it is not going to be up to the French federation. We will follow the recommendations of the government.”
The main draw matches of Roland Garros 2020 are scheduled to get underway on May 25 and hopefully, things will be back to normal (or as normal as can be).