French tennis chief Bernard Guidicelli admitted Sunday that Roland Garros, already controversially pushed again 4 months as a result of Corona Virus, could be staged behind closed doors.
Guidicelli, who stated the French federation (FFT) had “no regrets” over its unilateral determination to maneuver the claycourt Grand Slam from May 24-June 7 to Sept. 20-Oct. 4, insisted all choices stay on the desk.
“We have not dominated out any possibility. Roland Garros is in the beginning a narrative of matches and gamers,” he instructed the Journal du Dimanche.
“There is the event going down within the stadium, and the event on TV screens.
“Millions of viewers all over the world are ready. Organizing it behind closed doors would permit a part of the enterprise mannequin – tv rights (which account for greater than a 3rd of the event’s revenues) – to go forward. This can’t be ignored.”
The unfold of the Corona Virus has halted all tennis since mid-March and won’t resume till July 13 on the earliest.
Wimbledon has already been canceled for the primary time for the reason that Second World War.
The US Open, resulting from happen in New York from Aug 31-Sept 13, can also be in query with a choice anticipated in mid-June.
Close to 500,000 followers commonly attend Roland Garros yearly.
However, a sign as to the considering across the 2020 version got here on Thursday when the FFT determined to reimburse all tickets purchased for the unique date of the event quite than switch them.
Guidicelli admitted that the beginning of the rescheduled French Open could even be pushed again an extra week to start on Sept. 27.
That would permit a two-week break between the US Open and Roland Garros.
“I’ve common discussions with Andrea Gaudenzi (president of the ATP), Steve Simon (president of the WTA) and David Haggerty (head of the ITF) and one other name is deliberate subsequent week to see how we’ve progressed.
“We are working effectively collectively, however it’s nonetheless a bit early to exactly decide the schedule.”
Guidicelli is adamant that the FFT was proper to shift the event again by 4 months with the loss of life toll from the Corona Virus in France standing at 26,310 by Saturday night time.
“Roland Garros is the driving drive of tennis in France, it’s what feeds the gamers in our ecosystem (260 million euros or $285.232 million in income, or 80% of the turnover of the FFT),” added Guidicelli, describing himself because the “good father.”
“We consider them first, defending them. We made a brave selection and in the present day, nobody regrets it.”
“A event with out a date is a ship with out a rudder – we do not know the place we’re going.
“We positioned ourselves as far within the calendar as attainable, anxious to not hurt main occasions, in order that no Masters 1000 or any Grand Slam would be affected. The flip of occasions appears to have proved us proper.”