PARIS (AP) — The Latest from the French Open (all times local):
Regardless of whether Rafael Nadal beats Novak Djokovic in Sunday's final to win a 13th French Open, the tournament director believes that the record of 12 titles already held by the Spaniard will never be equalled.
Guy Forget said Nadal's record of 12 finals played, 12 finals won at Roland Garros before playing Djokovic “is beyond comprehension” and “the biggest achievement, sporting achievement, (that) any sport will ever see.”
“To win it 12 times, I don't know, and possibly a 13th time, I don't think that record will ever be beaten again,” Forget said.
“It's just beyond anything that anyone could have imagined, you know, 10 years ago.”
Roland Garros organizers say they've not made a profit from this year's pandemic-hit edition of the French Open that was pushed back from spring to autumn, deprived of 97% of its ticket sales and most of its spectators and is wrapping Sunday with the men's final of Novak Djokovic vs. Rafael Nadal.
As for next year, organizers are still planning to restore the Grand Slam clay-court tournament to its usual May-June slot but admit they have no visibility on whether the pandemic will allow that to happen.
“We have no crystal ball,” said Bernard Giudicelli, the French tennis federation president. "We are advancing into the unknown.”
Organizers said that staging this year's September-October edition in the midst of the pandemic, with only 1,000 spectators allowed per day and just 3% of the usual amount of tickets sold, caused a hit of 80 million to 100 million euros ($95 million to $118 million) to the tournament's revenues and left it earning about what it cost to hold.
“We’re not making a (profit) margin,” said Jean-François Vilotte, the French federation's director general.
Giudicelli insisted that holding the tournament in such conditions was still a “winning” choice and that it would have been “unthinkable” for 2020 to have passed without a French Open.
“To be a Grand Slam is to be a pillar of the game,” he said. “The pillar held.”
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