French Open pushed back by a week to enable fans to attend
Tennis - 08 Apr 2021
Tennis’ French Open at Roland Garros in Paris has today been pushed back by one week until the end of May, with authorities hoping the delay will allow spectators to be present.
The tournament, one of tennis’ four grand slams, will take place from 30 May and 13 June, having been originally due to start on 23 May, given current coronavirus-related restrictions in France.
The later finish means Roland Garros, a clay-court tournament, will finish just two weeks before the start of the Wimbledon Championships, on grass, in the UK.
The decision has been taken with France having entered a third national lockdown, because of a recent surge in Covid-19 daily infections and deaths.
Last year's French Open was delayed by four months, from late May to late September, because of the pandemic.
Gilles Moreton, president of the FFT, said on Thursday: “I am delighted that the discussions with the authorities… have made it possible for us to postpone the 2021 tournament by a week.
“It should optimise our chances of welcoming spectators at Roland Garros, into our newly-transformed stadium.”
Moreton has previously said he could not imagine the 2021 tournament being cancelled entirely because of the pandemic.
The ATP and WTA, the men’s and women’s professional tennis bodies, have said in a joint statement that they are “working in consultation with all parties impacted by the postponement," and that they anticipate the delay will mean fans can be present.