This year’s French Open has been postponed by one week due to the COVID-19 pandemic and will begin on May 30, the French Tennis Federation (FFT) said on Thursday.
The Claycourt Grand Slam, which was postponed by four months last year and took place in front of limited crowds, will end on June 13, two weeks before the expected start at Wimbledon.
The postponement will have an impact on the ATP and WTA calendars, especially on the green season with tournaments scheduled to start on June 7 in s’Hertogenbosch (WTA and ATP) Stuttgart (ATP) and Nottingham (WTA).
FFT President Gilles Moreton said it had made the decision after consulting with public authorities, governing bodies of international tennis and its partners and broadcasters.
It was hoped that the delay would allow them to welcome more fans at the venue than last year, as only 1,000 were allowed at Roland Garros each day.
“It will give the health situation more time to improve and should optimize our chances of welcoming spectators to Roland-Garros …”, he added.
“For the fans, the players and the atmosphere, the presence of spectators is crucial for our tournament, this spring’s most important international sporting event.”
FFT had been heavily criticized for postponing last year’s tournament to the end of September without consulting the elite’s men’s and women’s tours, which this time have been kept in mind.
“Both ATP and WTA are working in consultation with all parties affected by the launch to optimize the calendar for players, tournaments and fans in the lead up to and after Roland-Garros,” the WTA and ATP said in a joint statement. .
France last Saturday went into a third nationwide lockdown to contain the spread of the new coronavirus, with President Emmanuel Macron saying he hoped to “reopen” the country around mid-May.