French Open date change over virus rocks tennis
London: The global tennis calendar has been thrown into further chaos after a decision by French Open organisers to postpone the Grand Slam, with players and rival tournaments critical of the apparently unilateral move. The event at Roland Garros, traditionally the second major of the season, was on Tuesday moved from a May 24 start date to September 20.
Organisers said strict confinement measures imposed by the French government to tackle COVID-19 had made it impossible to continue with preparations.
FFT (French tennis federation) president Bernard Giudicelli said: “We have made a difficult yet brave decision in this unprecedented situation, which has evolved greatly since last weekend.”
But the new dates mean the tournament would start just one week after the US Open, if that event remained in its original slot. Organisers of the Grand Slam in New York acknowledged it might need to be moved but said they would not go it alone in a scarcely veiled dig at French chiefs. -AFP