• French Open players to get 1 hour of daily freedom in Paris
    The Canadian Press

    French Open players to get 1 hour of daily freedom in Paris

    Players at the French Open will be allowed a daily one-hour window outside their social-distancing bubble, tournament organizers said Wednesday. Guy Forget, the director of the clay-court Grand Slam, said players will have the chance to get out for a jog or enjoy some fresh air during their stay in the French capital despite coronavirus restrictions. Insisting players are “extremely aware of the danger" caused by the coronavirus pandemic, Forget said they won’t be put under surveillance. “Our goal is not to put them in a necklace and attach them to their hotel or to the Roland Garros stadium," he said. For the second year in a row, the traditional French Open schedule has been disrupted by the coronavirus pandemic. Initially scheduled to start on May 23, first-round matches will now get underway on May 30. Last year’s tournament was pushed back to September because of the pandemic, with crowds limited to 1,000 per day. This year's delay will allow organizers to welcome more fans since nationwide restrictions enforced in France are set to ease before and during the tournament. If the health situation in France continues to improve, up to 5,388 spectators will be allowed every day from May 30-June 8. More fans will be allowed to access the six distinctive areas inside the stadium, with the capacity rising to a maximum of 13,146 spectators on June 9 and 10. In total, organizers will be selling 118,611 tickets compared to 15,000 last year. Forget said players will go straight to their hotel upon their arrival in Paris and will be tested for the coronavirus before they can get their accreditation. They will then be subjected to PCR tests every four days. All players will be lodged in two Paris hotels where they will have access to restaurants and fitness rooms, Forget said. They won't have access to Roland Garros on the days they are not scheduled to play. Fans over the age of 11 will be required to wear masks at all times inside the stadium. From June 9, depending on the adoption of a health certificate by French authorities, they will need to show they had a negative PCR or antigenic test less than 48 hours before entering the stadium, present a vaccine certificate or a proof they have been infected and recovered from the virus. Among the novelties announced this year, a night session will be introduced for 10 days with a retractable roof on center court and floodlights. But matches will be held without fans, except for the final day on June 9, because of the night curfew at 9 p.m. ___ More AP tennis: https://apnews.com/hub/tennis and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports Samuel Petrequin, The Associated Press

  • Reuters

    Exclusive - German startup Contentful explores options including U.S. IPO: sources

    Contentful, a website platform whose customers include Spotify, WeWork and the British Museum, is exploring options including a U.S. initial public offering that could value it at close to $5 billion, people familiar with the matter said on Wednesday. The Berlin-based company, which plans to go public by the end of 2021, is close to hiring financial advisers to inform on the best route to the stock market, which could also involve a merger with a so-called blank-check firm or special-purpose acquisition company (SPAC), the sources said. The sources, who requested anonymity as the discussions are confidential, cautioned that Contentful's plans might change and there was no certainty that a deal would materialize.

  • Canadian Felix Auger-Aliassime upsets Diego Schwartzman at Italian Open
    The Canadian Press

    Canadian Felix Auger-Aliassime upsets Diego Schwartzman at Italian Open

    ROME — Canada's Felix Auger-Aliassime is heading to the third round of the Italian Open after notching an upset victory on Tuesday. Auger-Aliassime, from Montreal, downed No. 8 seed Diego Schwartzman of Argentina 6-1, 6-3 at the ATP Masters 1000 clay-court event. The Canadian, ranked 21st in the world, converted on five of six break-point opportunities against Schwartzman, a semifinalist on clay at the French Open last year. "I think he was struggling to find openings on the court. I took advantage of that," Auger-Aliassime said. "I kept going for my shot with no hesitation, stick to my game plan. I was able to do that well outside of the little bit of slump in the second when I got broken back. I missed a few easy shots." Auger-Aliassime won 76 per cent of points when he got his first serve in, 28 percentage points better than Schwartzman. "I can be happy also with the way I served," Auger-Aliassime said. "Outside of one game, it was very complete. "Yeah, I mean, overall good performance from my part. Straight sets. I can be happy to get through before the rain and to be in the third round." Auger-Aliassime will face the winner of a match between No. 12 seed David Goffin of Belgium and Argentine qualifier Federico Delbonis in the round of 16. Earlier, No. 13 seed Denis Shapovalov of Richmond Hill, Ont., crushed Polish qualifier Kamil Majchrzak 6-1, 6-3 in a first-round match. Shapovalov saved the only break point he faced. The Canadian had a huge advantage on serve. He won 81 per cent of his points when he got his first serve in, 40 per cent ahead of Majchrzak's rate. Shapovalov will face world No. 69 Stefano Travaglia, of Italy, in the second round. This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 11, 2021. The Canadian Press