Former French No. 1 Cedric Pioline says that the Roland Garros Grand Slam tournament must be held this year, even if it means holding the tournament without spectators. Speaking to Europe 1, Pioline says, "The priority is that Roland-Garros takes place, that the machine is revived, that there is tennis again.
"Even if it's a huge regret to say that it [could] take place behind closed doors. "It would be lost in guesswork to favor one, as there is a lack of visibility is real." The former US Open and Wimbledon finalist Pioline says the absence of fans would make a big difference to the players, who generally feed off the crowd's energy.
"There is a psychological connection with the public. We can feed on it in both directions, with us or against us, it is a source of energy, it can have an influence on the course of a match. "There were players who liked to speak with the referee, the public got involved ....
It is less common today, but imagine on a centre court, a player who will score a great point and but there will be no fans.... nothing, just the flies that fly! " The French Tennis Federation has said that they are looking at all options to hold the event which is scheduled as of now for late September.
Pioline peaked at No. 5 in the singles rankings in 2000. He won five singles titles in his career, the biggest at the ATP Masters Series event in Monte Carlo in 2000. He also helped France win the Davis Cup in 1996 and 2001.