'We want fans at French Open but they'll have to respect protective measures'

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'We want fans at French Open but they'll have to respect protective measures'

French Tennis Federation Director General Jean-Francois Vilotte admits he would prefer to have fans at this year's French Open as the tournament organizers are making their best effort to proceed with the event in September.

On March 17 -- just five days agyer the ATP and WTA suspended the tours -- the French Tennis Federation reacted quickly and rescheduled the French Open from its traditional Kay start to a late September start. The hope is to that the season will continue in early-August, around month and a half before the rescheduled French Open kicks off on September 20.

The French Tennis Federation is keen on staging the event this year as the French Open would face a huge financial loss if the French Grand Slam event doesn't take place. Staging the French Open behind the closed doors could be considered but the tournament organizers are focused on bringing at least some number of fans.

"We are considering all the options, but we obviously don't prefer to play behind closed doors [without fans]," Vilotte said, per Sky Sports. "We want there to be fans, who respect protective measures.

I struggle to understand that we can re-open restaurants and shops, and that we can't do if we're responsible for a big event like ours."

'Protective measures must be absolutely protected at the French Open'

The French Open likely won't be able to bring in the number of fans they usually bring in during the tournament but still they could have a solid number of fans in attendance.

"We'll have to take into consideration the health situation at the time, with protective measures that must absolutely be respected, gauging the number of people that can be deployed over the 14 hectares [of Roland Garros]," Vilotte added.

The French Open is still scheduled to start on September 20, just seven days after the scheduled US Open final. However, there have been rumors that the French Open will move its start for another week and kick off on September 27.