The current rate of Covid-19 infections in France is on the rise, in the last ten days France have recorded over 65,000 confirmed cases with almost 9000 in one day.
Despite this rapid increase and a second wave in full swing the plan in Paris is to still welcome back fans in a couple of weeks time.
Initial plans were to have 20,000 fans on site a day but with the current situation in Paris this has been cut.
- 11,500 fans will be able to be on site a day at Roland Garros (5000 on Chatrier, 5000 on Lenglen and 1500 on Simone-Matheu)
- All tickets bought for qualifying will be refunded
- Tickets will be refunded at random to reduce the size crowd on three main show courts
- Ground passes will not be available but people who have tickets for either Chatrier, Lenglen or Simone-Matheu will be able to access the outside courts.
- All fans must wear a mask when in the Roland Garros grounds
- Players will only be able to practice on the main courts before there match, all other practice will take place off site.
Even a cut from 20,000 to 11,500 seems a lot of fans for the amount of cases that France have seen in the last month especially the last couple of weeks. Roland Garros is two weeks away and in the last two weeks have seen over 86,000 confirmed cases.
The site at Roland Garros is small, I walked the perimeter last year in about 15 minutes where as the perimeter at Australian Open takes almost an hour to get around.
A lot of players have signed up but expect withdrawals over the coming week or so.
Federer and Del Potro won’t be there due to injury. Murray and Wawrinka look set to return to Paris as does Kei Nishikori.
Defending champion Ashleigh Barty has pulled out due to travel concerns and can’t even travel to see her coach Craig Tyzzer in another state due to Australian lockdown rules.
Maria Sakkari and Serena Williams have expressed concerns with Serena yet to make a decision on her participation because of how public it will be and health problems she has.
It is an extra incentive for many players to go to Roland Garros as there is a qualifying draw which will be so beneficial to players ranked outside the top 120.
The overall prize money has dropped from €42.66 million euro’s to €38 million euro’s but an increase in qualifying and early round prize money:
“The prize money for first-round losers will thus increase by 30% compared to last year, to 60,000 euros [$71,000],” “A major effort has also been made on the qualifications, with an allocation up 27% compared to 2019. The first-round losers in qualifications will receive 10,000 euros [$11,800]”