“We do not reason either on the assumption of a cancellation or on the assumption of a postponement of the tournament” of Roland-Garros because of the coronavirus, declares to franceinfo Jean-François Vilotte, director general of the French Tennis Federation . The French Tennis Open will in theory take place from May 18 to June 7 at Porte d'Auteuil, in Paris (16th arrondissement).
Professional tennis tournaments are suspended until April 26 due to the coronavirus. This is the decision made by ATP, the organization that manages the professional male tennis circuit this Thursday, March 12. Consequently, the tournaments of Indian Wells, Miami, Houston, Marrakech, Monte-Carlo, Barcelona and Budapest are canceled. And after April 26? The pressure is stronger on Roland Garros, which must start on May 18.
Franceinfo: Do you plan to cancel or postpone Roland-Garros?
François Vilotte: Today, we are not reasoning either on the assumption of a cancellation or on the assumption of a postponement of the tournament. On the other hand, we are working on different scenarios for organizing the tournament, such as passive procedures in order to limit the risks. For example, the distribution of a certain number of protection kits, the reduction of waiting times or the fluidization of entry conditions.
Among the procedures envisaged, this may also be a reduction in the number of spectators.on franceinfo
I remind you that we play the tournament on 13 hectares, that is to say that we have the capacity to manage the distribution of spectators. We therefore have a certain number of organizational variants that we are studying and that we will consult with the public authorities, taking into account the developments in the health crisis.
Do you intend to prohibit people living in high-risk areas from entering the stadium?
If, at the time of the tournament, ie at the end of May, there were areas of concentration, contamination of the virus, we would consider, if necessary, depending on the origin of the spectators, cancellation measures of their tickets. But it's part of all the solutions we are considering to be responsible in the organization of the tournament.
Is a closed Roland-Garros tournament possible?
All scenarios are possible, but this one is obviously not the desirable or preferred scenario. So, for the moment, we favor other organizational solutions than the camera. I would remind you that in any event, a tournament is made up of employees, staff, service providers, even when there are no spectators. This is therefore obviously not the hypothesis that we favor at this stage.