French Open to be held with fans: French federation president

(Reuters) - The French Open, unlike its U.S. counterpart, will be held with fans when it takes place from Sept. 27-Oct. 11, the head of the French tennis federation (FFT) said on Wednesday.

“It will absolutely not be behind closed doors. There is no final decision yet on the number of spectators, which will be decided on with the public authorities,” FFT president Bernard Giudicelli told reporters.

Usually held at the end of May, the French Open was first moved to a Sept. 20-Oct. 4 slot but the main draw has been pushed back another week.

The qualifying tournament, which had been discarded from previous plans, will be held as usual and will start on Sept. 21 in a boost for lower-ranked players who have been especially hard hit by the lack of earning opportunities since tennis was shutdown in March.

Giudicelli said tickets would be sold around the end of the month or at the beginning of July.

With three Masters tournaments and two Grand Slams in the space of seven weeks, players might have to make hard choices but French Open director Guy Forget is confident they will turn up at Roland Garros.

“Seventy-five players from the top 100 are currently in Europe and I am convinced they will preserve themselves to be in top form in Paris,” said Forget.

Giudicelli added that the Paris Masters would be held on its scheduled dates, from Oct 31-Nov 8.

Reporting by Julien Pretot; Editing by Toby Davis

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