This year’s French Open tennis grand slam has announced a new all-time attendance record amid questions over empty seats seen during broadcasts.

Tournament director Amelie Mauresmo said a total of 630,000 fans attended Roland Garros in Paris during three weeks of the tournament – one week of qualification (May 22 to May 26) and two weeks for the main draw (May 28 to June 11) – surpassing last year’s 613,000.

This year’s tournament ended with Novak Djokovic reaching a record 23 grand slam titles after beating Casper Ruud in the men’s final yesterday (June 11), while four-time grand slam winner Iga Swiatek beat Karolina Muchova on Saturday (June 10) to win the women’s crown for the third time.

The high figure comes despite the tournament’s decision to reduce the number of tickets sold per day by 2,000 this year and give ticketholders for the adjoining courts access to the upper stands of Simonne-Mathieu, Roland Garros’ third largest court.

Mauresmo said the reduction ensured attending fans would experience the day in better comfort than previous years, adding: “This enabled us to have less people in the queues, greater comfort, a better experience for the general audience entering the stadium.

“It was appreciated by everyone. We have tools to measure the satisfaction, and the feedback is exceptional. It’s something we will keep for 2024 because feedback is super positive.”

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However, questions have been raised after the sight of empty seats in the corporate boxes during big matches.

The boxes, mostly reserved for sponsors and their guests, were left empty midway through the highly anticipated men’s semi-final between Carlos Alcaraz and Novak Djokovic as hospitality guests left for lunch. The boxes were also left empty for the second men’s semi-final between Casper Ruud and Alexander Zverev.

Several women’s matches, meanwhile, were played in front of half-empty stadiums, including popular Tunisian player Ons Jabeur who said after her match: “It was really good to see the Tunisians in the crowd because I know there were no tickets, and it was terrible to see the stadium empty because there were a lot of Tunisians who wanted to come and see me play.”

Responding to the issue, French Tennis Federation president Gilles Moretton told reporters: “There is room for improvement it is true, but we also accept our differences.”

Earlier this year, the Australian Open broke grand slam attendance records after attracting more than 902,312 visitors to Melbourne Park over three weeks.