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French Open could be staged without fans and pushed back again

Bernard Giudicelli says all options are being considered for the French Open to go ahead, with dates still not confirmed.

French Open organisers say the tournament could be staged behind closed doors as they prepare for more talks over scheduling.

The clay-court grand slam was postponed in March due to the coronavirus pandemic and put back to September.

Wimbledon has since been cancelled amid the COVID-19 crisis, but the US Open and French Open are to go ahead as it stands.

French Tennis Federation (FFT) president Bernard Giudicelli knows what would be the final major of the year may have to take place without spectators.

“We haven’t ruled out any option. Roland Garros is first and foremost a story of matches and players,” he told the 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 – television rights [which provide more than a third of French Open revenue] – to go ahead. This cannot be overlooked.”

Guidicelli added that the action in Paris may not start until September 27 – a fortnight after the US Open is due to finish.

He said: “I have regular discussions with Andrea Gaudenzi [ATP president], Steve Simon [WTA president] and David Haggerty [head of the ITF] and another call is planned next week to see how we have progressed.

“We are working well together, but it is still a bit early to precisely determine the schedule.”

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