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June 5, 2019

Guy Forget

Paris, France

THE MODERATOR: Questions in English.

Q. To break the ice, two years ago, you were tournament director. It was raining all the time. It must be you, eh?
GUY FORGET: Yes (smiling).

Q. Tell me honestly what is going to happen especially for people who have both tickets for today, they come tomorrow, what happens? And also, Friday apparently the weather forecast is not too good. Honestly, if you know...
GUY FORGET: No, that's true.

Q. What are you planning to do in the different situations?
GUY FORGET: Okay, so first question first. Of course all the people that had tickets, any ticket, will be reimbursed today. They can apply on the website to get their money back.

On top of that, with their ticket, if they want, they can come back tomorrow and have free access to the grounds and to wherever we will be playing, wherever we have seats available, especially on the other courts.

The schedule of the bad weather on Friday we know is a possibility, so we are right now -- I just left the room to see the different options that we have. None of them are ideal, because, you know, we have the ladies' and the men's to be played. We could technically play on two courts, on three courts, but at one point it's a call we're going to have to make.

We have, of course, the match with Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer, which is the one that a lot of people are waiting for, of course. But then, after that, we have two big finals, the women's and the men's, and we want to make the best we can so they can be played on time.

Most of you have been around for a long time, so you know how this is working. The difficulties, a match can go between 50 minutes to three hours on ladies'. And on a men's match, it can go -- we have seen it with a few guys already -- past five hours.

So when we have uncertain weather, of course, it's very hard to predict, you know, scheduling, but we have to always study the worse-case scenario, knowing that ideally we want to try to finish on Sunday.

So I can't give you more specific details at this point, but the weather for tomorrow seems to be okay. So we will be able to move on with that schedule that you've already seen with the ladies' starting at 12:00, followed by the men's at 2:30.

If we achieve that, it's a good start. Then we will worry about Friday after that, but Friday is kind of complicated already.

Q. Talking just about the women's tournament, basically, at this moment, we will have on Thursday the quarterfinals, semifinals on Friday, and on Saturday the final. In case of bad weather on Friday, is there any possibility to move the final from Saturday to Sunday?
GUY FORGET: That's not what we want to do. But as you said, some girls might be playing three days in a row. First of all, it's a very difficult task for one or two of them.

Most of these girls have been waiting all of their lives to play such a big match, and to actually be playing a match of that magnitude with already two matches in their legs is a difficult task.

If we have to move the final the following day, you know, it's something that could happen. You know, we have done it with the men's, if you remember, with Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic. It's not what we hope, but if we have no other choice, then that's what we will do.

And with the women's, exact same thing. Hopefully we'll be able to conclude the women on time and we keep our fingers crossed that we might play through the drops, especially on Friday.

Q. If you were being fair, if we get through tomorrow, if we were being fair to the women on Friday, they would play at the same time first, but you have sold tickets to the two separate men's sessions on Friday. How big a complication is that?
GUY FORGET: Well, you just said it (smiling). Ideally -- it's a difficult answer, because I'm not making the call myself. We have a crew of referees. Ideally you would want the girls to play at the exact same time so they have the same amount of recovery.

If you have to play the men's at the same time, that's when we think about, we thought about playing on three courts. Of course, one of the women's final will have to go maybe on the Simonne-Mathieu, which is a possibility. Don't write that I said that if it doesn't happen. But, I mean, we, at the moment, are studying the worse-case scenario.

If I was a lady playing in that stage today, I would rather play on a smaller court -- although everyone says that Simonne-Mathieu is a magnificent court -- knowing that I will have enough time to rest, at least the same of my opponent the following day, because the finals is what I'm playing for. I'm not playing just to win the semifinal. I'm playing to win the tournament.

If one of the girls that has played less is already finished and waiting and the other one is waiting, it's horrible for her. So there's not an ideal solution. If we have to take that chance, then we'll probably take it.

But always, you know, you're afraid that some players might feel that it's a lack of respect or we are just trying to diminish -- no. Ideally, when you see historically what has happened in the tournament, we try to be fair to everyone. We want to see great matches with players in the best possible physical shape.

And if at one point we have to make the tough call to move a player on the smaller court -- although 5,000 seats is not a bad court -- it's a possibility. I left the meeting just to be with you, but they're talking about this right now. I have to run back when we are done.

THE MODERATOR: Questions in French.

Q. (Question off microphone.)
GUY FORGET: Shall I start from the start? I'm talking to the radio? To all the radios, apparently. The radios asked for a repeat.

Unfortunately, the matches had to be interrupted today and all spectators will be fully reimbursed. Those who want can come back tomorrow with today's tickets and watch the matches on the courts where there are seats. They will have a general entry but for the Suzanne Lenglen. They can get there and try and see the matches that are played there.

In fact, in the past, we have suffered from people not coming back even for Nadal against Djokovic. I remember that problem of people not coming back the next day.

The issue for us is for the tournament to continue with enough time for players, both men and women, to recover and to have similar recovery time. We will see what happens for the Sunday and Saturday matches.

Men, I believe there is a match between Nadal and Federer that many people are waiting for. Fortunately, the weather forecast for tomorrow is good. Not so good for Friday.

So at present we are studying all possibilities and all scenarios in order to progress in the tournament as best as possible.

Q. For the program of Friday, the semifinals of women will take place on the Suzanne Lenglen and the men's semifinals on the center court?
GUY FORGET: For the moment, the decision hasn't been made in view of the difficult weather forecast for Friday. We are thinking about this option. And also why not have them play on a third court? We know that Simonne-Mathieu is a court that is very successful if things were to come to worse.

The ideal thing would be for both players to have the same recovery time. And the best way to get this result is for them to play their matches at the same time. If there is a rain interruption, then they are interrupted at the same time.

In this way, there will be no player finishing the match 24 hours before the other. We know that there will be difficult climate conditions, and we want to avoid any additional problem.

Q. Have you anticipated this bad weather Friday concerning the semifinals? What happens if they can't take place?
GUY FORGET: We saw that historically we can play men's finals on Monday. We remember the final between Djokovic and Nadal. We can think of the same thing for women in terms of disaster scenario.

Now, to date, we have good hope for tomorrow. The matches for tomorrow are quite important. Then the meteorologists will give their forecast for Friday, and we will decide on Friday's program, which will be extremely difficult to organize in view of what I just said.

But now all doors are open, and we can adapt.

Q. For fair play, the first semifinals of men on Friday will be between Federer and Nadal?
GUY FORGET: Yes, most probably.

Q. Did you see the players who were supposed to play today? How did they react? Are they worried? What were their feelings?
GUY FORGET: I met a few of them. I saw relaxed faces.

Right now I'm thinking more about the families and spectators who came, many from far away, and who were wet, who were in the stands, but I was seeing people laughing and smiling.

The players have a nice lounge. They have hot meals. They have places where they can sleep. They are with relatives and families. They can have massages. That's the daily life of professional players to be waiting half a day or full day to sometimes play one set. So they are all great professionals. I'm not worried about them.

I'm more worried about all the people who are dreaming about this day in Roland Garros and who will leave tonight and will say, Well, that's our memories from Roland Garros, and that's a bit harsh.

Q. If it's played on Suzanne Lenglen and Simonne-Mathieu on Friday, who will have access to these courts in terms of spectators?
GUY FORGET: We will let spectators make their choice. First of all, we don't know which match would be played where. There are a lot of question marks. There is no ideal solution, but our priority is our audience. And according to the circumstances, we will try to make the best choices possible.

We have the chance of having three beautiful showcourts. Of course Philippe Chatrier with 15,000 seats, Lenglen 10,000 almost, and Simonne-Mathieu almost 5,000. And so there are matches of WTA Tour that are played on central court with 5,000 seats. So if it were the case, there is nothing negative in playing on this court, which is very beautiful.

Q. Will the ticket office be open for Friday? Because there's this high-value match? Because normally people cannot purchase tickets apart from Philippe Chatrier. Will there be free tickets?
GUY FORGET: We are currently thinking about that. I cannot give you more details right now. We already suggest those who came today to come back tomorrow if they are still in Paris to enjoy Roland Garros, and we will adapt accordingly.

There are so many unknown factors right now that I can't really give you any certain facts.

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