‘French Open date could be changed’ in light of coronavirus surge, says Minister

French Sports Minister Roxana Maracineanu has admitted that the French Open could potentially be delayed once again this year amid a coronavirus spike.

Last year’s event was moved from May to September while the tennis season was cancelled for several months over the summer due to travel restrictions and lockdown protocols.

Now, just seven weeks before the French Open is due to begin, France have been put into full lockdown once again as COVID cases are rising at a considerable rate.

The president of the French tennis federation, Gilles Moretton, said this week that they may have to take measures but that he ‘dare not imagine a complete cancellation.’

But on Saturday, Maracineanu revealed that a postponenment is under discussion.

“We are in discussion with them (the French Tennis Federation, which organises the event) to see if we should change the date to coincide with a possible resumption of all sports and major events,” Maracineanu told France Info radio.

“Today, although high-level sport has been preserved, we try to limit the risks of clusters, of spreading the virus within professional sports.”

The initial lockdown until the end of April includes school closures, a 7pm curfew for all and a 10km movement limit which will be reviewed at the end of the April, only three weeks before Roland Garros begins.

But already there are suggestions that this could be extended with President Emmanuel Macron saying on Wednesday that he was expecting to re-open the country in mid-May.

The news will be a big concern both to Rafael Nadal who has a good opportunity to break the record for the most men’s Grand Slam titles and Roger Federer who is desperate for some Grand Slam practice before Wimbledon.

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