Fans are expected to be in Roland Garros when the French Open is held in the fall. Susan Mullane-USA TODAY Sports

French Open plans to have fans in stands

The French Open is planning to have fans in the stands, as the French Tennis Federation announced that over half the amount of usual fans will be allowed to attend the tournament.

"The number of spectators allowed in the stadium will be 50%-60% of the usual capacity," the FFT said. "This reduction will allow strict distancing measures to be respected."

The "strict distancing measures" include requiring fans to wear masks when they are moving inside the grounds, not allowing more than four people to sit together in one group, and one chair left empty between groups sitting in the same row. However, fans will not be required to wear masks when they are sitting, though it is recommended.

The French Open was supposed to start in late May but the coronavirus pandemic forced the FFT to delay the tournament. It is now scheduled to start on Sept. 27 and end on Oct. 11.

But even with these safety measures in place, there is no guarantee that many of the biggest names in tennis will show up for the tournament. Novak Djokovic has tested negative for the coronavirus after testing positive 10 days ago but still may choose not to participate in international travel. Meanwhile, 12-time French Open champion Rafael Nadal has said he thinks focusing on 2021 is more realistic.

"I would sign up right now just to being ready for 2021," Nadal told El Pais and other Spanish newspapers in May. "I'm more concerned with the Australian Open than with what happens later this year. I think 2020 has been practically lost. I'm hopeful of being able to start next year."

Blake Harper is a writer based in New York. He's originally from San Diego and is one of the few Chargers fans left. He doesn't believe in ties and loves elaborate celebrations. Follow him on Twitter @beezyharps 

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