French Open postponed by a week in hope for more spectators to attend
The French Open has been postponed by a week with the main tournament now due to start on May 30, the French Tennis Federation has announced.
France president Emmanuel Macron announced on March 31 that a schedule for the return of sporting events would start from mid-May onwards, which led to the decision by the French Tennis Federation.
Following a statement from Roland Garros on Thursday morning, it was confirmed the qualifying rounds would be held from May 24-28, with the main draw due to start on May 30 and finish on June 13.
President of the French Tennis Federation, Gilles Moretton said: “I am delighted that the discussions with the public authorities, the governing bodies of international tennis, our partners and broadcasters, and the ongoing work with the WTA and ATP, have made it possible for us to postpone the 2021 Roland-Garros tournament by a week.
“I thank them for this. It will give the health situation more time to improve and should optimise our chances of welcoming spectators at Roland-Garros, into our newly-transformed stadium that now covers more than 30 acres.
“For the fans, the players and the atmosphere, the presence of spectators is vital for our tournament, the spring’s most important international sporting event.”
The grand slam in Paris had been scheduled to take place between May 17 and June 6, but France was placed in a third national lockdown earlier this month after a sharp rise in coronavirus cases.
In 2020, the tournament was moved to October from its usual slot due to the first wave of Covid-19, with a limited amount of fans allowed in.
The WTA and ATP, who organise the heavily packed women’s and men’s tours respectively. have said they will work alongside the French Tennis Federation and suggested that the move was done to increase the chances of fans being able to attend the tournament.
“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,” the WTA and ATP said in a statement.
“Both the WTA and ATP are working in consultation with all parties impacted by the postponement to optimize the calendar for players, tournaments, and fans, in the lead up to and following Roland-Garros. Further updates will be communicated in due course.”
No queue jumping from Ashleigh Barty as she confirms she got Covid-19 vaccine in the United States
Ashleigh Barty got her jab in the United States.
Like mother like son as Stefanos Tsitsipas draws maternal inspiration for Monte-Carlo Masters success
Stefanos Tsitsipas follows in his mother’s footsteps in Monte-Carlo.
Fabio Fognini vows to ‘investigate’ after officials’ ‘inexplicable’ decision to default him at Barcelona Open
Fabio Fognini protests his innocence.
Ashleigh Barty delivers ‘some good stuff’ en route to reaching quarter-final in Stuttgart
Ashleigh Barty hits her stride in Stuttgart.
Rafael Nadal ups the aggression after slow start: ‘I’m a human and when I lost the first set I was worried’
Rafael Nadal overcomes early wobble to win in Barcelona.
Novak Djokovic produces ‘pretty flawless’ display after getting ‘extra push’ from fans in Serbia
Smooth start for favourite Novak Djokovic at Serbia Open.
LTA’s Michael Bourne backs Britain to develop more world-class players
The performance director took up LTA role six months ago.
WATCH: Fabio Fognini defaulted for verbally abusing official, smashes racket while storming off court
Fabio Fognini defaulted from Barcelona Open.
Gerard Pique taken to task over revamped Davis Cup after European Super League tweet
Gerard Pique’s tweet met with questions.
Stefanos Tsitsipas hails ‘very big moment’ as he enjoys the winning feeling after Monte-Carlo Masters win
Stefanos Tsitsipas on a high after Monte-Carlo title.