The French Open continues to shrink — and become safer.
On Sept. 6, the French Tennis Federation announced it would allow 11,000 fans daily on the ground of Roland Garros, where the Grand Slam event begins Sunday. Five days ago, that number was trimmed to a max number to 5,000 because of the recent COVID-19 spike in Europe.
With the event just two days away, the FTF announced Friday morning the daily number has been chopped to a mere 1,000 a day. The US Open, which completed its two-week run at Flushing Meadows on Sept. 13, didn’t allow any fans — and a very limited amount of journalists.
In the statement Friday, the FTF said the figure is “one thirty-fifth of the usual number of spectators” that have attended in the first week.
“From the very outset of the public health crisis that our country is experiencing, the French Tennis Federation has consistently worked closely with government departments, to determine how to organize the tournament in the current situation,’’ the governing body said in a statement Friday. “It deeply regrets these new restrictions.”
Tickets had already been mailed out to the French Open seasonal ticketholders but the tournament will “adapt’’ to the new guidelines. A draw will be staged each day of the tournament to select the 1,000 fans.
NBC’s Mary Carillo told The Post earlier this week she was concerned about the COVID-19 protocols in Paris, fearful of the amount of fans. Carillo also heard anecdotes about not having security at the player bubble hotels and easier access to gaining entry onto the grounds before their tests results came back. Carillo said it seemed the US Open protocols were stricter.
Already six players were banned from the qualifiers due to coronavirus-related reasons.
Carillo will call the action for NBC with John McEnroe via monitors from a remote site in Stamford, Conn. The clay court grand slam usually is played in May but organizers moved it back at the height of the pandemic.
Rafael Nadal enters as the favorite and got a good draw in which he won’t face the top contender Novak Djokovic until the Finals. Nadal is looking for his 13th French Open title, while Djokovic makes a comeback after being disqualified from the US Open for accidentally hitting a lineswoman with a ball.
He is 31-1 in 2020 after his triumph at the Italian Open with the stunning Queens boot his lone loss.
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