The organisers of the upcoming edition of the Roland Garros have been forced to reduce the number of daily spectators from 11,500 to 5000 due to a recent increase of the coronavirus cases in France.
“The evolving hygiene situation in the Paris area has prompted the Paris police department to limit the number of spectators who may enter the 12 hectares Roland Garros site on a daily basis to 5,000 during the tournament,” the French Tennis Federation (FFT) has said in a statement.
The FFT had initially aimed to host crowds of around 5,000 at both the Philippe-Chatrier and Suzanne-Lenglen showcourts with the intention to allow another 1,500 fans at the smaller Simonne-Mathieu court.
“The FFT is conscious of how disappointing this news will be for those who will not be able to come to the stadium due to the reduction in capacity,” it added.
The French Open, which was originally scheduled to start in May but had to be moved back because of the outbreak of novel coronavirus, is slated to be played from September 27 to October 11.
Meanwhile, recently-crowned US Open champion Naomi Osaka has withdrawn her name from the upcoming edition of the French Open.
The world number 3, who earlier this month claimed her third Grand Slam title, is reportedly struggling with a hamstring injury which she sustained during her successful campaign at the Flushing Meadows in New York.
“Unfortunately, I won’t be able to play the French Open this year,” the 22-year-old on Friday said in a statement on social media.
“My hamstring is still sore so I won’t have time to prepare for the clay – these two tournaments came too close to each other for me this time. I wish the organisers and players all the best,” she added.
Osaka joins world number one women’s singles player Ashleigh Barty in not participating in the clay-court Major. Barty, who skipped the US Open as well, had already informed that she would not feature in any Grand Slam this year until the coronavirus situation across the globe gets better.
Among men, former world number one Roger Federer had also decided to give all the Majors of this year a miss after undergoing a surgery earlier.