'Not taking it seriously': Nick Kyrgios slams French Open crowd call

Sam Goodwin
·Sports Editor
·3-min read
Nick Kyrgios, pictured here in action on the tennis court.
Nick Kyrgios has slammed the French Open's call to allow crowds. Image: Getty

Nick Kyrgios has slammed the French Open’s call to allow crowds at the upcoming grand slam, accusing organisers of not taking the virus crisis seriously.

Kyrgios previously ruled himself out of the Roland Garros event, saying he didn’t feel comfortable travelling to Europe in the current climate.

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And the Australian star has since hit out at plans to allow crowds at the final grand slam of the year.

The French Open will allow a maximum of 11,500 spectators per day to adhere to strict health protocols and curb the spread of COVID-19 when the event begins on Monday.

The French Open, traditionally held in May-June, was postponed earlier this year due to the pandemic and will now be held at Roland Garros from September 27-October 11.

“I am most likely not going to play,” Kyrgios told News Corp.

“Especially with the cases rising there. I don’t feel comfortable to go there and play.

“They are thinking about doing it with crowds. I don’t think the tournament is taking it seriously. It’s disappointing the level of seriousness they are taking towards it.”

Kyrgios, who also opted to skip the US Open, said he didn’t feel good about missing grand slams, but simply couldn’t justify playing.

France has recorded nearly 31,000 deaths, according to a Reuters tally.

Officials said a maximum of 5000 spectators per day would be allowed to watch matches at both the Philippe-Chatrier and Suzanne-Lenglen showcourts, while only 1500 fans would be allowed at the smaller Simonne-Mathieu court.

Seating arrangements would have a gap of one seat on each row and no more than four people can sit side-by-side, while wearing masks would be mandatory for anyone over the age of 11.

The qualifying rounds, which begin on September 21, will be held behind closed doors.

Andy Murray, pictured here in action at the US Open.
Andy Murray has been granted a wildcard to play at the French Open. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

Murray and Bouchard get wildcards for French Open

Meanwhile, Andy Murray, Eugenie Bouchard and Tsvetana Pironkova have been given wildcards for the French Open.

Former World No.1 Murray, a finalist at Roland Garros in 2016, was also handed a wildcard at the US Open last month where he reached the second round in his first grand slam after hip surgery last year.

Canada's Bouchard, who reached the French Open semi-finals in 2014, has been playing claycourt tournaments since the season restarted last month and got to the final of the Istanbul Open where she lost in three sets on Sunday.

Bulgaria’s Pironkova, who surprised the field at the US Open when she reached the quarter-finals in her first tournament in three years following a maternity break, was also given a wildcard entry into the main draw at Roland Garros.

with agencies