The French Open was delayed by a week from May 30 to June 13 on Thursday in hopes that increased restrictions on Covid-19 in France will have eased by then to allow the maximum number of fans to attend at the event. The French Tennis Federation (FFT) said the decision was taken following French President Emmanuel Macron’s announcement last month that “a timetable for gradually restarting cultural and sporting events will be put in place from mid-May, subject to the improvement of the health situation ”.
The president of the FFT, Gilles Moretton, declared that the postponement of the week “will give the health situation more time to improve and should optimize our chances of welcoming spectators at Roland Garros”.
“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,” added Moretton.
The qualifying rounds will now take place from May 24 to 28, followed by the main draw from May 30 to June 13.
Wimbledon, the next Grand Slam tournament after the French Open, said in a statement that the decision had no impact on the scheduled start date of June 28.
Ugo Valensi, Executive Director of the Grand Slam Council, added: “These times remain extremely difficult for communities around the world and, while there is optimism for the future, it is clear that this pandemic is always with us.
“Grand Slam tournaments represent the most important spotlight for our sport and therefore we will do everything possible to ensure that they can be held successfully.
“Following consultation, the FFT’s decision to postpone Roland-Garros for a week in order to increase the tournament’s chances of success is therefore fully supported by the Grand Slam Council.”
The FFT’s decision also received the green light from the ATP and the WTA, the governing bodies of professional men’s and women’s tennis, respectively.
“Tennis has required an agile approach to the calendar over the past 12 months in order to manage the challenges of the pandemic, and this continues to be the case,” read a joint ATP / WTA statement.
“The WTA and @atptour are supporting the decision and 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.”
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