The Roland-Garros qualifications began on Monday in an unprecedented context due to health rules. No public is yet allowed until Sunday and the start of the main round, also contested under special conditions.
Qualifications without an audience
Qualifications for the main round of Roland Garros began this Monday morning in an atmosphere only disturbed by the racket hits in the balls, the announcements of referees and a few cries of joy or annoyance from the players. Fifteen months after the end of the last edition won by the inevitable Rafael Nadal, life has resumed in special circumstances in times of Covid. The public is not allowed to attend these meetings. He will have to wait until Sunday.
5,000 people on the whole complex during the main tour
The organizers obviously dreamed of another context to bring out a complex modernized by major works, with the culmination of the coverage of the Central court. Health crisis requires, they will not be able to accommodate more than 5,000 people, from Sunday for the start of the main round.
“The 5,000 spectators will be spread over 12 hectares, explains Jean-François Vilotte, general manager of the French Tennis Federation. This represents more than 15 football fields, he says. The whole protocol is built so that it is an incredibly safe space from a sanitary point of view with physical distancing, the wearing of masks, the 600 gel distribution points, sanitary brigades and disinfection kits. ” The organizers initially hoped to be able to accommodate 11,500 people but the negative evolution of the coronavirus forced them to lower the gauge. A closed session during the tournament is not ruled out either.
Players protected and closely watched
After the US Open where the health bubble was even stricter, the players will be the subject of very close monitoring. All participants will be tested 24 hours before the start of the tournament, then every five days. In the event of a positive result or if it is a contact case, the player will be excluded from the tournament. Five qualifying participants have already experienced this fate on Sunday. The players and their companions will stay in two hotels different reserved by the organization. Crowd baths with autograph signing and selfies will be prohibited.