» Sports » Masks, shades on as French Open gets started

Masks, shades on as French Open gets started

May 30, 2021 17:16 IST
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French Open fans

IMAGE: Fans wearing face masks walk down steps outside Court Suzanne-Lenglen during Day One of the 2021 French Open at Roland Garros.Photograph: Julian Finney/Getty Images

Queues were back at Roland Garros as spectators lined up in the morning sun to attend the first day of the French open, which kicked off in western Paris on Sunday.

A 300-metre line formed outside the main entrance before Japan's Naomi Osaka starts her campaign against Romanian Patricia Maria Tig, with Osaka's refusal to hold post-match news conferences still sparking conversation.


French Open fans

IMAGE: Fans look at the draw wall. Photograph: Julian Finney/Getty Images

With temperatures reaching 20 degrees panama hats and shades were de rigueur - a contrast with last year's wind jackets and umbrellas when the claycourt Grand Slam was played in September-October.

While 1,000 fans were allowed on the ground last year, this year's French Open welcomes up to 5,388 spectators a day before opening its gates to 13,146 a day from June 9 as COVID-19 restrictions ease up in France.

Osaka, the second seed, opened proceedings on the main Philippe Chatrier court, and will be hoping to at least reach the fourth round for the first time.

French Open fans

IMAGE: Fans look on from the stands wearing face masks. Photograph: Julian Finney/Getty Images

Italian Fabio Fognini was up against French wildcard Gregoire Barrere on court Suzanne Lenglen.

With none of the 'Big Three' (Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic) in action on Sunday, the attention will be on two-time runner-up Dominic Thiem, who plays Spain's Pablo Andujar, and Greek fifth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas, who plays last on Chatrier against France's Jeremy Chardy.

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