French Open hoping for big crowds as they announce plans to operate at more than 50 per cent capacity
- The main draw of the French Open is due to start on September 27
- There will be crowds of around 20,000 per day in the early stages of tournament
- There will be strict restrictions in place, including one-way spectator routes
While fears grow over the feasibility of next month’s US Open, Roland Garros confidently stepped forward on Thursday by announcing plans to operate at more than fifty per cent crowd capacity.
As Wimbledon hibernates the French Open is set to open its ticketing operation, and general sales will take place from July 16.
The main draw will start on September 27, with the grounds taking up to 60 per cent of its usual crowds, which would mean around 20,000 per day in the early stages of the tournament.
Roland Garros have announced plans to operate at more than 50 per cent crowd capacity
However, there will be Covid restrictions including one-way spectator routes, the compulsory wearing of face masks on site and plentiful hand sanitising facilities.
French Federation President said that four people maximum would be allowed to sit together. ‘Should the situation evolve in the right direction, new tickets would be available in September,’ he added.
Hygiene protocols for players and support teams will be announced in due course, with the US Open having already moved towards a more lenient policy at Flushing Meadows.
However the viability of the event is coming under increasing scrutiny in the wake of the announcement last month that it will go ahead in late August.
There will be strict Covid restrictions in place, including one-way spectator routes
Sportsmail understands that Steve Simon, head of the WTA Tour, told a European conference call this week that there was growing concern about it happening in the wake of recent Covid 19 developments.
It is also understood that the first women’s event due to come back in the US, the Citi Open in Washington DC on August 3, is unlikely to take place. According to the WTA website its status is ‘pending’, but officials believe it will be called off.
On Tuesday New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that arrivals from 16 other States will need to quarantine for 14 days.
British players like Dan Evans have said they plan to travel to the US a fortnight before the start of the Washington men’s event, due to begin on August 14.
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