Serena has questions for Roland Garros organisers over 'interesting' French Open plans

By Sports Desk September 07, 2020

Serena Williams is hopeful there will be no problems with allowing fans at the French Open but conceded she has questions for organisers about their plans.

The French Tennis Federation (FFT) announced on Monday that 11,500 fans would be allowed into Roland Garros for the rescheduled clay-court grand slam, though the grounds would split into three separate sites.

Pushed back from May 24 to September 27, players will be required to stay in one of the two designated hotels to prevent the potential spread of COVID-19.

Williams, speaking after beating Maria Sakkari to reach the quarter-finals of the US Open, expressed some bemusement at the restrictions being placed on players amid fans being allowed into the facility.

"I was hoping to stay at my apartment in Paris, but, you know, I'm just taking it a day at a time," she told a media conference. 

"I feel the French, they are doing the best that they can. You know, it's hard. Every organisation, every country is trying to do the best that they can in this pandemic, so I can't point fingers and tell them what to do, because I'm not running the tournament.

"If there are fans, then we should be able to stay elsewhere. Yeah, that's interesting, because there is no private housing but there's fans.

"But I kind of knew that. It's just for me I'm super conservative because I do have some serious health issues, so I try to stay away from public places, because I have been in a really bad position in the hospital a few times.

"I don't want to end up in that position again, so I don't know. I'll just do my best to continue to keep – for me, I try to keep a 12-foot distance instead of six."

Asked if she is definitely planning to play in Paris, Williams replied: "I'm honestly taking it one day at a time. I'm going to have to make the best decision for my health.

"Obviously maybe it will be good for me to talk to the organisers just to see how that works with the crowd and how we will be protected.

"They have to make the best decision for them, and I have to do what's best for me. But I think it should be okay.

"I don't know what the number will be and how close they will be. I think there is a lot of factors that hopefully they are thinking about, and I'm sure that they are, as this is a global pandemic.

"I still have some questions, but I'm really kind of, ironically, focused on New York but it's kind of hard because these grand slams are so close to each other this year."

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