Sports minister Roxana Mărăcineanu announced in a speech to the country’s National Assembly on Thursday that despite the country going into lockdown for the next four weeks, professional sport France would receive an exemption.

“Top athletes and professional athletes will be able to continue training. And they will also be able to continue to compete since travel for professional reasons is allowed,” said Mărăcineanu.
And in a statement from the ATP Player Relations which Slovakian player Lukas Lacko posted on his Twitter feed, it was confirmed that the French Tennis Federation (FFT) will stage the tournament behind closed doors at the Bercy Arena.

“However, further government clearance is necessary,” the ATP said in a message to “players and team members.”

“The FFT will continue to engage with the French government to confirm the ability to play behind closed doors as soon as possible and under exactly what conditions.”

Nadal’s love affair with the ‘City of Light’

Last week, Nadal posted a picture of himself training, tweeting: “It’s indoor season time … And yes … getting ready for #ParisBercy.”

If he were to win in Paris, Nadal would equal Novak Djokovic’s record of 36 ATP Masters 1000 titles.

The Paris Masters runs November 2-8 and has a prize fund of $5.04 million (€4.3 million). The event was last won by Djokovic — the fifth time he has won the tournament.

It means Nadal will again be able to play in Paris, the ‘City of Light’ where he’s enjoyed unparalleled success and where he won his record-equaling 20th grand slam title earlier this month.

Nadal beat Djokovic at Roland Garros to win his 13th French Open title and tie Roger Federer for the most grand slam victories.

Mărăcineanu’s announcement came hours after French President Emmanuel Macron said a new coronavirus lockdown would be introduced until at least December 1.

Under the new lockdown, people will need a certificate to move around. Non-essential businesses, restaurants and bars will be closed. Schools will remain open, people can go to work and care homes visits will be allowed.

Compared to the first lockdown, some rules will be relaxed, with school and workplaces remaining open. However French people will only be allowed outside “to work, to go to a medical appointment, to care for a relative, to do shop for essential goods and to get some air,” Macron said.

Breaking yet more records

Nadal’s continued excellence despite being one of the more senior members of the men’s tennis tour means breaking records has become seemingly commonplace for the 34-year-old.

And he’s broken yet another one.

Two weeks on from capturing his 20th grand slam championship, Nadal has now spent 789 consecutive weeks in the top 10 of the ATP Rankings, breaking Jimmy Connors’ record of 788 weeks.

Nadal first broke into the top 10 as an 18-year-old on April 25, 2005, just a month before his maiden grand slam victory at Roland Garros.

Connors was in the top 10 from August 23, 1973, when the FedEx ATP Rankings were first established, to September 25, 1988.

Federer has spent the most weeks overall in the top 10 of the rankings with 919 weeks, followed by Connors (816) and Nadal (789).





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