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French Tennis Federation may hold Roland Garros without fans due to COVID-19 outbreak

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The delayed French Open could take place in September and October without fans, the country's tennis federation chief said on Sunday. Photo: AP

Roland Garros tennis tournament could be held without fans later this year, the president of the French Tennis Federation said on Sunday, reports the Associated Press.
The clay-court tournament at Roland Garros was initially slated to be held 24 May – 7 June, but was postponed amid the coronavirus pandemic and rescheduled for 20 September – 4 October.
French Tennis Federation President, Bernard Giudicelli, told French newspaper Le Journal du Dimanche that organisers were considering the prospect it might need to go ahead without fans present. It could even start one week later.
“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 said in the newspaper interview Sunday. “We’re not ruling any option out.”
However, he conceded that “the lack of visibility” when hosting a tournament without fans is a concern. Recent reports have speculated that the French Open could be rescheduled again.
“The 20th or the 27th, that does not change much,” Giudicelli said.
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 it goes ahead.

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