Berlin (AP) – Former tennis star Nicolas Kiefer has expressed doubts about the decision to allow spectators to attend the French Open in Paris.
“Let me say: you have to see the positive in it. It is of course much, much better for the atmosphere that viewers can be there again,” said the 43-year-old from Hanover in an interview with the portal ” Chillreport “. “But then you also have to say: Paris is a corona risk area – then admitting spectators is really dangerous for the players.”
Only at the end of the tournament will it be possible to judge “whether it was the right decision. It is also a test: if it goes well in the first few days, you can continue like this,” said the former Davis Cup player. “But if something happens, it is also possible that the rest of the tournament will take place without a spectator.” In France, the number of corona infections has recently reached record highs. Like some other regions, the capital, Paris, was classified as a risk area.
Due to the corona pandemic, the Grand Slam tournament on clay was postponed from May / June to September 27 to October 11. This is a very different situation, “as the tournament takes place at a very different time of the year,” said Kiefer. “It’s not as warm as normal in the summer, the balls will be slower.”
He is convinced of Alexander Zverev after his performance at the US Open and despite the last defeat on Sunday against the Austrian Dominic Thiem. “I said before that he would win his tournament in the next two years,” said Kiefer. “He’s already at the door, now he just has to keep going. We’ll have a lot of fun with him.”