The French Open authorities are still hopeful the event could go on as planned in September but have cancelled the already-sold tickets to fans.
Before the coronavirus pandemic struck, Roland-Garros had already started selling tickets for the French Open this year. At that stage, the tournament was to be played towards the end of May as it usually is but since then things have gone a drastic change.
With all tennis events cancelled till at least the middle of July, the French Open authorities postponed the competition to September, a week after the originally scheduled US Open.
Even if the tournament was to go ahead as re-scheduled, it seems highly improbable it would be played in front of fans. What that has meant is the authorities have decided to cancel all the tickets sold so far and would be refunding fans the money.
While a few players including Rafael Nadal reckon the season is almost as good as over, French Open authorities have not given up on the chances of hosting the event yet.
French Open head Bernard Guidicelli said all options are still on the table and the competition could go ahead as planned even if spectators weren’t allowed.
- Djokovic Will Have to Abide by the Rules: Nadal
- How Does Tennis Suspension Affect Federer, Nadal, Djokovic?
He said to Journal du Dimanche:
“There is the tournament taking place in the stadium, and the tournament on TV screens.”
“Millions of viewers around the world are waiting. Organising it behind closed doors would allow part of the business model – the television rights (which account for more than a third of the tournament’s revenues) – to go ahead. This cannot be overlooked.”
Earlier, the French Open authorities were castigated for their unilateral decision to reschedule the competition without taking other stakeholders into confidence. However, Guidicelli said they had done what was right given the situation, rescheduling it deeper into the season without affecting any other Grand Slam or Masters competition.
“The turn of events seems to have proved us right.”