France is once again in the nightmare: the Global Pandemic of Covid-19 is spreading again throughout the country, necessitating new lockdowns and new health containment measures to further prevent the rise of infections. In the midst of all this pandemonium, from 28 September to 11 October 2020 there will be the Roland Garros 2020.
A tournament for which in the summer there were many hopes of getting the crowd back, but now, with the second wave of coronavirus, very problematic in Europe and particularly severe in France, everyone is wondering if it is right to play, and, above all, if it is just get the crowd involved.
At least 11,000 spectators a day were expected in the summer, which increased to 5,000 towards the beginning of September. Now it could only be 1000: a somewhat grotesque situation. Crowds should not be present in Bois de Boulogne, as the health risk would be too high for everyone.
Was it right to play the Roland Garros 2020?
Bernard Montalvan, medical director of Roland Garros explained the protocol established by the scientific committee, and also all the problems: "Two swabs are not carried out, but the same is analyzed by two different machines five hours apart and a univocal response from both is required to declare the positivity.
A low viral load may remain even in those who have already had the virus in July and developed antibodies, as in the case of Popovic. For this reason we have advised against the players to share rooms with their coaches. expected in the two weeks of the tournament will probably force us to do more swabs, because it will not be easy to distinguish a fever at 38 with a runny nose due to a cold, from a hypothetical case of Covid.
It is also impossible to lock players and their staff in one bubble: they travel by plane, they change hotels every week, as far as you can take all the precautions they remain one of the p sports groups most exposed to risk.
I understand that it is also psychologically difficult for them, they are young and can be stopped by a positive test even if they feel fit. We also try to listen to them, while having to respect the rules in force. I understand well that for athletes it is also a tiring period from a mental point of view."
As you know, good players have already been found during the tournament qualifiers. The press release of the tournament speaks of two positives ascertained among the players and of three excluded as a precaution in terms of contact with a coach who was positive.
Spaniard Bernabe Zapata Miralles was sent home because his coach Carlos Navarro had tested positive asymptomatically, but the two said that for both the control swabs gave negative results. Similar situation for Damir Dzumhur and his coach Petar Popovic.
Dzumhur harshly criticized the tournament's borad: "It's a scandal how this was handled, I'll go to court and I'm sure we'll win. We've suffered injustice and discrimination." In short, this is an atypical situation, which began last spring, when the French Open board decided independently, bypassing ITF, ATP and WTA, to move the tournament between the end of September and the beginning of October.
A decision that attracted a lot of controversy and that now, a few hours after the start and in the midst of a severe health crisis, seems to have been an unwise and long-lasting choice.