French Open postponed by a week amid COVID-19 crisis

The French Open has been postponed by a week because of the COVID-19 pandemic and can start on May 30, the French Tennis Federation (FFT) announced Thursday.

The clay-court Grand Slam, which was postponed by 4 months final yr and passed off in entrance of restricted crowds, will end on June 13, two weeks earlier than the anticipated begin of Wimbledon.

The postponement is ready to have an effect on the ATP and WTA calendars, particularly on the grass-court season, with tournaments scheduled to start out on June 7 in ‘s-Hertogenbosch (WTA and ATP), Stuttgart (ATP) and Nottingham (WTA).

FFT president Gilles Moreton mentioned it had made the choice after consulting with public authorities, the governing our bodies of worldwide tennis, and its companions and broadcasters.

It hoped the delay would allow them to welcome extra followers on the grounds than final yr, when just one,000 have been allowed at Roland Garros daily.

“It will give the health situation more time to improve and should optimise our chances of welcoming spectators at Roland-Garros,” Moreton mentioned in a assertion.

“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 FFT had been closely criticised for suspending final yr’s match till the top of September with out consulting the elite males’s and girls’s excursions, who this time have been saved within the loop.

“Both the ATP and WTA are working in consultation with all parties impacted by the postponement to optimise the calendar for players, tournaments, and fans, in the lead up to and following Roland-Garros,” the WTA and ATP mentioned in a joint assertion.

Last Saturday, France entered a third nationwide lockdown to comprise the unfold of COVID-19, with President Emmanuel Macron saying he hoped to “reopen” the nation round mid-May.

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