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Government Will Have Final Say on French Open Fans

Roland Garros is scheduled to start on September 20th.

A higher power will determine if fans can attend the French Open.

Nadal: If Roland Garros is Safe, I'll Be There

The clay-court major made the unilateral decision to move from its traditional May start time to September 20th as the coronavirus crisis has shut down the sport until at least the start of August.

Roland Garros aims to play with as many fans as possible though French Tennis Federation president Bernard Giudicelli concedes that ultimately the French government will decide if fans can attend the tournament and how many will be permitted.

"The preferred option is to have a Roland Garros with as many spectators as possible," Giudicelli said today in a video call with Gael Monfils. "After that, depending on the health conditions, we will adapt to the directives the government gives us.

"The government will decide how many people can be there."

The French government has banned all gatherings of 5,000 or more people until September—and it is possible that ban could be extended.

Roland Garros typically averages more than 500,000 fans throughout the fortnight.

Tennis Express

Last month, Roland Garros refunded all ticket holders for the 2020 tournament.

While the tournament would obviously lose money playing behind closed doors without fans, rights fees from television networks around the world account for about 30 percent of French Open revenues.

Giudicelli said the FFT is focused on hosting the tournament with fans because "Roland Garros, like all the major tournaments, is a meeting between the players and the public. That's what gives this tournament its magic."

Photo credit: Roland Garros Facebook