This year’s French Open has been postponed for a week due to the COVID-19 pandemic and will start on May 30, the French Tennis Federation (FFT) announced on Thursday (April 8).
The clay court Grand Slam, which was postponed for four months last year and was played in front of a limited audience, will end on June 13, two weeks before the scheduled start of Wimbledon.
The Grand Slam on turf said he would not change his dates following the Roland Garros decision, which he supported.
“This decision has been discussed with the Grand Slam Council and, given the exceptional circumstances, is fully supported by the Australian Open, Wimbledon and the US Open,” Wimbledon said in a statement.
The postponement means turf events scheduled to start on June 7 in Hertogenbosch (WTA & ATP), Stuttgart (ATP) and Nottingham (WTA) will collide with the Major’s second week on clay.
The president of the FFT, Gilles Moreton, said he made the decision after consulting the public authorities, the governing bodies of international tennis and its partners and broadcasters.
He hoped the delay would allow them to welcome more fans onto the pitch than last year, when only 1,000 were allowed at Roland Garros each day.
“This will give the health situation more time to improve and should optimize our chances of welcoming spectators at Roland Garros …”, he added.
“For the supporters, the players and the atmosphere, the presence of spectators is vital for our tournament, the most important international sporting event of the spring.”
The FFT had been heavily criticized for postponing last year’s tournament to the end of September without consulting the elite men’s and women’s tours, which this time were kept informed.
“ATP and WTA are working in consultation with all parties affected by the postponement to optimize the schedule of players, tournaments and fans, before and after Roland Garros,” WTA and ATP said in a statement. spouse. .
France entered a third national lockdown last Saturday (April 3) to contain the spread of the new coronavirus, with President Emmanuel Macron saying he hoped to “reopen” the country around mid-May.