Published on : 30/05/2021 – 08:37Modified : 30/05/2021 – 08:50
Seven months after an exceptionally autumnal 2020 edition, Roland-Garros opens on Sunday on its spring dates and in front of more than 5,000 spectators. But the Covid-19 pandemic is still affecting the Paris Grand Slam tournament, in particular its brand new nightly sessions.
It is the first major sporting event of the year in France. A thousand last fall, the spectators will be very precisely 5,388 to take their place in the stands of this spring edition of Roland-Garros on Sunday May 30, then a little more than 13,000 from June 9.
This is the result of the one week delay of the Paris tournament, decided in early April by the French Tennis Federation (FFT) and which allows to take advantage of the next phase of deconfinement orchestrated by the government. The result also of meticulous legal searches which led to the establishment, within the Roland-Garros enclosure, of six administrative units (ERP-PA) from which the maximum spectator gauges are defined (35% with a ceiling 1,000 people until June 8 inclusive, 65% with a ceiling of 5,000 after).
In detail, these spaces are formed by the three main courts (Philippe-Chatrier, Suzanne-Lenglen and Simonne-Mathieu), courts 2 to 5, 6 to 9 and 10 to 14. Between them, a “free movement” but rigorous flow management, specify the organizers.
Its Tsitsipas vs. Chardy 🇫🇷
🇧🇾 Sabalenka Konjuh 🇭🇷
🇮🇹 Fognini vs. Barrère 🇫🇷
🇧🇾 Azarenka vs. Kuznetsova 🇷🇺
The matches not to be missed this Sunday 📝👇#RolandGarros
— Roland-Garros (@rolandgarros) May 30, 2021
Under these conditions, close to 120,000 admissions in total are expected throughout the fortnight. Much more than the 15,000 in 2020, but far from the some 520,000 recorded in 2019 before the pandemic.
“We are nevertheless happy to be able to count on a significant gauge despite everything, welcomed mid-May the new general manager of the FFT, Amélie Oudéa-Castera. It has been a long time since we had seen such levels of presence of the public.”
For those who will make the trip from June 9, there will however be an unprecedented constraint inherited from the pandemic: access will be conditional on the presentation of a health pass (negative test of less than 48 hours, vaccination certificate or remission). A life-size test for this government device.
Compliance with the curfew
Great novelty of this Roland-Garros: the entry into the scene of night sessions, already in place at the Australian Open and the US Open. If Melbourne and New York open them around 7 p.m. and schedule two matches there, Roland-Garros has opted for a different format: a single poster, from 9 p.m.
The other significant change is that to watch this match played on the night of Paris (as well as to follow all of those scheduled on the Simonne-Mathieu court), you will have to go through the paid Amazon platform, which in got the rights for three years.
But here too, the health restrictions weigh heavily: without derogating from the curfew, set at 9 p.m. until June 8 inclusive, the first nine “night sessions” in the history of the Parisian Grand Slam tournament will be held behind closed doors. . Only the last one, June 9, with the fourth men’s quarter-final and launched exceptionally at 8 p.m., will benefit from the curfew at 11 p.m. and will take place under the eyes of 5,000 spectators.
Before that date, if the matches scheduled for the day could not be completed as curfew approaches, the public should leave the stadium no later than 8:30 p.m.
Sanitary bubble for players
No exception to the two official hotels, access to the stadium only on match days and two maximum accreditations for those around them (in singles): like last fall, the players will experience a Roland-Garros under a health bubble. and players.
On their arrival in Paris, and unless they are vaccinated, “they will go directly to the hotel” to be tested “and when their result is announced, they will receive their accreditation”, then they will go through the box again. PCR test “every four days”, details the tournament director, Guy Forget. Their only space of freedom: “One hour a day, to go for a jog or to get some fresh air.”