Update on the latest sports
French Open to allow fans in stands at the tournament
PARIS (AP) – The French Open will allow fans to attend this year’s postponed tournament.
The French Tennis Federation says up to 60% of the stands can be filled with fans when play starts in September at Roland Garros. Tickets will go on sale on July 16 for the Sept. 27-Oct. Oct. 11 tournament.
The clay-court tournament had been scheduled to start on May 24 but was postponed to Sept. 20 because of the coronavirus pandemic. It then got pushed back another week.
The FFT has prepared a health and safety protocol to ensure the safety of fans.
In other tennis news:
– Novak Djokovic says he and his wife have now tested negative for the coronavirus. The top-ranked player tested positive for the virus after playing in an exhibition series he organized in Serbia and Croatia with zero social distancing amid the pandemic. His media team says “Novak Djokovic and his wife Jelena are negative for COVID-19.” The statement says both had no symptoms and that they were in self-isolation in the Serbian capital since testing positive 10 days ago. Djokovic was the fourth player to come down with the virus after participating in matches held in Belgrade and Zadar, Croatia.
– The cancellation of the Wimbledon tennis tournament has led to a “berry” big boon for health care workers in London. The All England Club says it will donate 200 portions of strawberries to workers on the front line of the coronavirus pandemic every day. Wimbledon says it is a “small gesture of appreciation for the dedicated service of the NHS during what would have been The Championships Fortnight.” Wimbledon was canceled this year for the first time since World War II because of the pandemic. The tournament had been scheduled to start on Monday.
Watkins Glen open again, optimistic for NASCAR weekend
UNDATED (AP) – Watkins Glen International is open again for racing in upstate New York.
Track president Michael Printup says most of the employees who were furloughed because of the pandemic have returned to work.
Printup says it’s too early to speculate, but if all goes according to plan he estimates the track could host at least 20,000 fans for NASCAR weekend in mid-August. That will snap a string of five consecutive sellouts that has attracted more than 90,000 fans annually. It would still be a welcome boost for the local economy.
Hamilton feels responsibility to push for more F1 diversity
SPIELBERG, Austria (AP) – Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton feels it’s his responsibility as a global star to keep pushing for more diversity in his profession and beyond.
Hamilton has spoken widely about racism in recent weeks following the killing of unarmed Black man George Floyd by a police officer in Minneapolis in May. Hamilton has attended a Black Lives Matter march in London and is setting up a commission to increase diversity in motorsport.
Hamilton says “I’ve got a platform and I think it would be irresponsible of me not to utilize that.”