The French Open is shaping up to be a vastly different experience for Serena Williams.
Earlier this month, it was announced a limited number of fans would be able to attend the tournament, currently underway with qualifying at Roland Garros in Paris, and that participating players will have to stay at one of two hotels booked by owners. Williams, who has pre-existing medical conditions, will be unable to stay at her Paris apartment given it’s outside the tournament’s bubble.
“We cannot speak about Roland Garros as a bubble. But it’s a ‘corridor’ where the players are protected,” Bernard Giudicelli, the French Tennis Federation president, recently said on the “Rock n Roll Tennis” podcast, according to The Sun.
“But even French players who own flats, we have told them you cannot be in your own houses,” he continued. “If you are, then we multiply the risks to get COVID-19.”
As of Thursday, there has been a total of 468,039 cases reported in France, according to the New York Times, and 31,416 deaths.
For this month’s US Open, Williams rented a home on Long Island in lieu of the player hotels. She previously addressed the French Open protocols, noting she had been hoping to stay at her Parisian flat.
“Yeah, I was hoping to stay at my apartment in Paris, but, you know, I’m just taking it a day at a time,” Williams said, according to Forbes. “I feel the French, they are doing the best that they can. You know, it’s hard. Every organization, every country is trying to do the best that they can in this pandemic, so I can’t point fingers and tell them what to do, because I’m not running the tournament.”
Williams, who experienced health complications following the 2017 birth of daughter Olympia, preferred private living quarters for the US Open due to her medical history.
“In a house, I can control more, there’s no housekeeping [staff], none of that stuff. I needed to put my mind at rest so that I could perform in New York,” she said.
Williams fell to Victoria Azarenka in the semifinals of this year’s US Open. She appeared to hurt her Achilles late in that match and withdrew from last week’s Italian Open.