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Suspiciously parked car delays French Open start on Court Simonne-Mathieu

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Tennis - French Open - Roland Garros, Paris, France - May 31, 2021 General view of the stadium after the first round match between Serena Williams of the U.S. and Romania's Irina-Camelia Begu REUTERS/Sarah Meyssonnier

PARIS, June 1 (Reuters) - Start of play at the French Open between local hope Ugo Humbert and Ricardas Berankis of Lithuania was delayed on Tuesday due to a suspiciously parked vehicle outside Roland Garros, the organisers said.

A loud sound was heard outside the 5,000-seat stadium, built on the premises of the neighbouring botanical garden, and play started on Court Simonne-Mathieu about 25 minutes later than schedule.

French Tennis Federation (FFT) said the start was delayed due to security officials neutralising a vehicle illegally parked outside the stadium.

"It was a routine security intervention by the police," an FFT spokesman told Reuters. "Everything is back to normal."

A police source said the vehicle was a stolen car and security checks confirmed there were no explosives attached.

Matches on the other courts on the third day of the clay court Grand Slam started on time.

Reporting by Julien Pretot and Matthieu Protard; writing by Sudipto Ganguly in Berhampore, India; editing by Nick Macfie

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