The musical chairs game has begun in tennis. As I said yesterday, when the dust settles from this cornavirus, the tennis landscape is going to look a lot different, as far as tournaments go.
Today, the French Open decided to move their dates to September 20-October 4. According to the latest calendars and assuming we get past the virus, the French Open will be played DURING Roger Federer’s Laver Cup, St. Pete, Metz, Chengdu and Sofia on the ATP, and Tokyo, Seoul, Guangzhou and Wuhan on the WTA.
The whole world is affected by the public health crisis connected with COVID-19. In order to ensure the health and safety of everyone involved in organising the tournament, the French Tennis Federation has made the decision to hold the 2020 edition of Roland-Garros from 20th September to 4th October 2020.
Though nobody is able to predict what the situation will be on 18th May, the current confinement measures have made it impossible for us to continue with our preparations and, as a result, we are unable to hold the tournament on the dates originally planned.
In order to act responsibly and protect the health of its employees, service providers and suppliers during the organisation period, the FFT has chosen the only option that will allow them to maintain the 2020 edition of the tournament while joining the fight against COVID-19.
At this important period in its history, and since the progress of the stadium modernisation means the tournament can be held at this time, the FFT was keen to maintain the 2020 tournament. Therefore, this year’s Roland-Garros will be held from 20th September to 4th October.
This decision was made in the interest of both the community of professional tennis players, whose 2020 season has already been compromised, and of the many fans of tennis and Roland-Garros.
“We have made a difficult yet brave decision in this UNPRECEDENTED situation, which has evolved greatly since last weekend. We are acting responsibly, and must work together in the fight to ensure everybody’s health and safety,” explained Bernard Giudicelli, President of the FFT.
Any tickets already purchased will either be refunded or exchanged to take into account the new dates of Roland-Garros 2020. We will give details about how to do this in a subsequent press release.
— Roland-Garros (@rolandgarros) March 17, 2020
So the French is effectively giving a big middle finger to the those events. And the players were even left in the dark.
This is madness. Major announcement by Roland Garros changing the dates to one week after the US Open. No communication with the players or the ATP.. we have ZERO say in this sport. It’s time. #UniteThePlayers https://t.co/e0xc7Lor0b
— Vasek Pospisil (@VasekPospisil) March 17, 2020
Strong Move by French Open/FFT to move to end of Sept. I thought the powers that be in tennis were supposed to be all about working together these days? 🤔
— Jamie Murray (@jamie_murray) March 17, 2020
In tough times like these communication and working together are as important as ever.
— Robin Haase (@robin_haase) March 17, 2020
excusez moi??? https://t.co/kb5wi27dRc
— NaomiOsaka大坂なおみ (@naomiosaka) March 17, 2020
The US Open will finish just a WEEK before the French Open begins. So Nadal will have back-to-back Slam title defenses. But that’s the smallest issue.
The bigger issue is what happens to those other events, and will other events impacted by the virus — like Indian Wells — take it upon themselves to just pack up and move to another date without approval.
Meanwhile, Wimbledon is planning to go on as scheduled…For now.
The AELTC is continuing to monitor and respond to the coronavirus situation, working closely with the government and relevant health authorities.
While we continue to plan for The Championships at this time, it remains a continuously evolving situation.https://t.co/Tc4fSuPs9Z
— Wimbledon (@Wimbledon) March 17, 2020
I would expect Rafael Nadal to give his input on this move as well as the tours and the Laver Cup who just got blindsided by this bold move out of Paris.
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