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AFP
April 9, 2021

French Open delayed by a week in hope for more fans

Sports

AFP
April 9, 2021

PARIS: The French Open was on Thursday delayed by a week to May 30-June 13 in the hope that heightened Covid-19 restrictions in France will have eased by then to allow the maximum number of fans to attend the event.

The French tennis federation (FFT) said the decision had been made in the wake of French President Emmanuel Macron’s announcement last month that the government wanted some cultural venues to be back up and running from mid-May onwards, “subject to the improvement of the health situation”. FFT president Gilles Moretton said the week’s delay “will give the health situation more time to improve and should optimise our chances of welcoming spectators at Roland-Garros”.

“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,” Moretton added.

The qualifying rounds of the clay-court Grand Slam event will now be held on May 24-28, followed by the main draw from May 30 to June 13. Wimbledon, the next Grand Slam tournament after the French Open, said in a statement that the decision had no impact on its planned start date of June 28.

The initial Wimbledon warm-up events, however, start on June 7, midway through Roland Garros.

There will now only be a two-week break between the French Open final and the start of Wimbledon.