Paris Masters starts at Bercy despite France lockdown

Lights on, but nobody home: The Paris Masters got underway despite France’s second virus lockdown

PARIS – The Paris Masters got underway at a near-empty Bercy Arena on Monday amid France’s second coronavirus lockdown, with former champion Karen Khachanov being knocked out in the first round.

Russian Khachanov was beaten 6-3, 2-6, 6-2 by Spanish qualifier Alejandro Davidovich Fokina.

Tournament organisers had expected to welcome 1,000 fans a day to the event, but instead had to refund the tickets when French President Emmanuel Macron announced France would reenter lockdown last week.

The prize money on offer has been cut by more than two million euros ($2.33 million) from last year, when Novak Djokovic won the title.

In front of 15,000 vacant seats, the hum of the air conditioning was often the loudest…

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