The Citizen (KZN)

Serena seeks clarity on French Open

- New York

– Serena Williams said she wanted to talk to French Open organisers about safety protocols before confirming whether she’ll play, adding she’d hoped to stay in her apartment during the Slam.

The French Open tournament director announced on Monday that all players at Roland Garros would be housed in two designated hotels “without exception”, to reduce the risks from coronaviru­s.

But Williams (right), who has been allowed to stay in a private house during her US Open bid, suggested it was illogical to be so strict over accommodat­ion when spectators would be present in arenas.

“Well, if there are fans, then we should be able to stay elsewhere, then,” Williams told reporters after moving into the quarterfin­als at Flushing Meadows.

“Yeah, that’s interestin­g, because there is no private housing but there’s fans,” she then added.

The 23-time Grand Slam winner has a history of serious lung problems that put her health at risk during the pandemic.

She suffered a pulmonary embolism while giving birth to daughter Olympia in 2017, the second time she has needed emergency treatment for the problem.

Williams said she had been “hoping” to stay in her apartment in Paris but added that French Open organisers were doing their best in difficult circumstan­ces.

She added that it “should be okay” for her to participat­e but that she wouldn’t rush into making a decision. – AFP

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