Evening meetings played without an audience, an audience evacuated in the middle of a match … This edition of Roland-Garros is distinguished by the health context in which it takes place. And the organization is not to the taste of all the players and the public.
Scene at the very least unusual this June 9 in the evening in the spans of the court Philippe-Chatrier. It is 10:55 p.m. and the referee of the quarter-final of Roland-Garros opposing Novak Djokovic to Matteo Berrettini interrupts the meeting to evacuate the public. In question, the respect of the curfew in force on the national territory, and which begins at 11 pm … which therefore left in theory 5 minutes to the spectators to reach their home.
Ticket holders will be able to watch the end of the night session (match scheduled in the evening) at home, provided you have a subscription to Amazon Prime, which broadcasts these matches. As for the players, they will end the meeting without an audience.
This particular organization, linked to the health restrictions in force against Covid-19, was not to everyone’s taste. “We pay 500 euros to see two-thirds of a match, it’s unacceptable,” chokes a father who came with his children, interviewed by the newspaper The team. Sign of this discontent, it is under the whistles and the boos that the security will evacuate the court, while fuse some “Pay back!” and “thank you Amazon!”
“Roland-Garros prefers Amazon to spectators”, says Medvedev
The previous days, the curfew being fixed at 9 p.m., night sessions were played without any public. An unusual situation, there too, which had aroused the anger of some players.
This is the case of the Russian Daniil Medvedev who lost in the quarter-final against Stefano Tsitsipas in front of a desperately empty stadium. In an interview with Parisian, the tennis player summed up: “Roland-Garros preferred Amazon to the spectators. It’s that simple.”
And to wonder: “I think it’s a good thing when we have sponsors, because that’s how we, as players, we manage to earn money. But this time, this year, we had more people at Roland Garros, we have Amazon but we get 15% less rewards. So the question is, where is Amazon’s money? ”
A little earlier, world number 1 Novak Djokovic, for his part, expressed himself on the situation in more hushed terms: “The only thing that saddens me a little is that there will be no spectators. I didn’t know and found out on Sunday that the curfew was set for 9pm, which is the time my game is supposed to start. Playing in a Grand Slam in an empty stadium won’t be fun. ”