The French Open will permit only 5,000 spectators per day following a recent spike in COVID-19 cases in the country, the organisers confirmed on Thursday.
The French Tennis Federation (FFT) had announced earlier this month that the tournament will allow a maximum of 11,500 fans per day at the claycourt major, which will be held at Roland Garros from Sept. 27-Oct. 11.
The FFT has been aiming to host daily crowds of 5,000 at both the Philippe-Chatrier and Suzanne-Lenglen showcourts while 1,500 fans were slated to watch matches at the smaller Simonne-Mathieu court.
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French newspaper L'Equipe said the tournament organisers were looking to host 5,000 fans a day at Philippe-Chatrier but none on Suzanne-Lenglen or Simonne-Mathieu court.
French Open organisers later confirmed the limit on Twitter.
A statement on the official website said:
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.
Since the beginning of the health crisis, the French Tennis Federation has worked hand in hand with the state in order to meet the demands of the ongoing sanitary situation.
The FFT will therefore assume the reponsibility of organising the tournament with a new lay out. It is important for the sporting, social and economic life of the country that a major event like Roland-Garros can be put on while respecting health imperatives.
Such will be the case for the 2020 tournament.
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. We would like to thank you for your understanding and your dogged support of the tournament. Roland Garros 2020 will set an example by endorsing, promoting and defending its cherished sporting values.
France has recorded over 438,000 COVID-19 cases and more than 31,000 deaths, according to a Reuters tally.
A record 520,000 spectators attended last year's French Open, according to organisers.
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