PARIS (Reuters) – This year’s French Open has been postponed by a 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 finish on June 13, two weeks before the expected start of Wimbledon.
The grasscourt Grand Slam said it would not change its dates following the French Open’s decision, which is supported.
The postponement means grasscourt events scheduled to start on June 7 in s’Hertogenbosch Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) and Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP), Stuttgart (ATP) and Nottingham (WTA) are set to clash with the second week of the claycourt major.
FFT President Gilles Moreton said it had made the decision after consulting with public authorities, the governing bodies of international tennis, and its partners and broadcasters.
It hoped the delay would let them welcome more fans on the grounds than last year when only 1,000 were allowed at Roland Garros every day.
The FFT had been heavily criticised for postponing last year’s tournament until the end of September without consulting the elite men’s and women’s tours, who this time have been kept in the loop.
France last Saturday entered a third nationwide lockdown to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus, with President Emmanuel Macron saying he was hoping to “re-open” the country around mid-May.