She may be the biggest name in women’s tennis, but that didn’t translate into special treatment for Serena Williams at Roland Garros.
Roland Garros bosses told Serena Williams she had to follow the rules and couldn’t stay in her own Paris apartment.
All players must stay at one of the two hotels offered by the tournament organizers for health and safety reasons prior to Sunday’s Clay Slam.
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Williams, who turned 39 on Saturday, had hoped to stay in her French apartment as she tried to win a record 24th singles major. She has three Roland-Garros titles on her CV.
Big names have been allowed to stay in private accommodation for the US Open on condition that they pay for it themselves.
But the president of the French Tennis Federation, Bernard Giudicelli, said there would be no special rules for superstars.
“The position we have reached to host the tournament is the result of an incredible journey that began in early June,” Giudicelli told Rock’n’roll tennis Podcast.
“When we have reached the protocols set with the government, we cannot change anything.
“We cannot speak of Roland Garros as a bubble. But it is a “corridor” where the players are protected.
“There are a lot of French players who have apartments around Roland Garros and in Paris.
“But even the French players who own apartments, we told them you can’t be in your own houses.
“If you are, then we increase the risk of catching COVID-19.
“And everyone should know that COVID-19 is like a bullet. If you put it on someone, they turn around again.
Daily crowds of 5,000 will be allowed for the rescheduled bimonthly tournament.
But five anonymous players withdrew from qualifying and entered a seven-day self-isolation period after two players and a coach tested positive for the coronavirus.
This article originally appeared on The sun and has been reproduced with permission.