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French Open Postponed to Late September Because of Coronavirus

  • March 17, 2020

“That’s insane,” Pospisil said in a telephone interview. “These are really rough times, unprecedented times, and this just goes against the whole idea of the tour working together. We have a calendar. We have discussions and negotiations between the Grand Slams and the ATP. We are always trying to make it work for everybody, and they just haven’t consulted the ATP, the players or the other tournaments. It’s just a very selfish move. They are basically doing a power play right now, and it’s quite arrogant.”

French Open organizers could not immediately be reached for a response to Pospisil’s comments. But the tournament organizers were clearly intent on preserving this year’s edition of their tournament after investing heavily in expansion and renovation in the last several years. This is to be the first year of use for the new retractable roof over the main court, the Philippe Chatrier Court, which will allow for night sessions and for play during rain.

Initially, there was discussion about the possibility of shifting the French Open to late July or early August if the Tokyo Olympics were postponed. Then on Tuesday, the International Olympic Committee reiterated its support for staging the Games as scheduled, from July 24 to August 9.

That left the French Open with few options for rescheduling.

“The French Tennis Federation was keen to maintain the 2020 tournament,” organizers said in a statement.

Concerns about the coronavirus continue to shut down major sporting events and have halted the professional tennis circuit. The men’s tour canceled all its events until the end of April. The women’s tour canceled all events until the beginning of May, and the French Open’s decision casts doubt on whether any clay-court events will be able to be held in May or June.

Though it’s unclear when any major sporting events will be able to return, Wimbledon is the next Grand Slam tournament, scheduled from June 29 to July 12. It is followed by the U.S. Open from Aug. 24 to Sept. 13 with the prestigious Olympic tennis tournament sandwiched between the two majors.

Article source: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/17/sports/tennis/french-open-postponed.html

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