The tennis calendar was thrown into chaos on Wednesday with the announcement that Roland Garros will be postponed by one week due to a coronavirus surge.
The French Tennis Federation have taken the decision to push the event back due to a fresh wave of coronavirus cases which has meant the country has entered another full lockdown.
It will be moved from its original May 23 start to a May 30 start, meaning it will now finish on June 13, just two weeks before Wimbledon.
The domino effect of that decision will impact not only the preparation of players but also other tournaments which will now have to be postponed or even cancelled as a result.
Players traditionally prefer not to play for the week before a Grand Slam, however, this will now create a two week block prior to the French Open, meaning players will possibly be forced to enter some smaller 250 events to keep momentum or face not playing for two weeks before a Major.
As many as ten ATP and WTA grass court tournaments were scheduled to take place in the three weeks between Roland Garros and Wimbledon as warm-up events, these include Queen’s Club Championships, Stuttgart Open, Nottingham Open and Eastbourne International.
It now remains to see which of these events will go ahead as scheduled and which will suffer the consequences of the calendar delay, and a joint announcement between the ATP and WTA states they are working with all parties concerned
‘Tennis has required an agile approach to the calendar over the past 12 months in order to manage the challenges of the pandemic, and this continues to be the case’ said the statement.
‘The decision to delay the start of Roland-Garros by one week has been made in the context of recently heightened COVID-19 restrictions in France, with the additional time improving the likelihood of enhanced conditions and ability to welcome fans at the event.
‘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. Further updates will be communicated in due course.’
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