French Open delayed by per week in hope that extra spectators can attend

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The French Open was on Thursday delayed by per week to May 30-June 13 within the hope that heightened Covid-19 restrictions in France could have eased by then to permit the utmost variety of followers to attend the occasion.

The French tennis federation (FFT) mentioned the choice had been made within the wake of French President Emmanuel Macron’s announcement final month that “a schedule to progressively get cultural and sporting events back up and running would be set up from mid-May onwards, subject to the improvement of the health situation”.

FFT president Gilles Moretton mentioned 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 will now be held on May 24-28, adopted by the primary draw from May 30 to June 13.

Wimbledon, the subsequent Grand Slam event after the French Open, mentioned in a press release that the choice had no impression on its deliberate begin date of June 28.

Ugo Valensi, govt director of the Grand Slam Board, added: “These remain extremely challenging times for communities around the world, and, while there is optimism for the future, it is clear that this pandemic is very much still with us.

“The Grand Slams signify essentially the most vital spotlights for our sport and so we’ll do all the pieces doable to make sure they are often staged efficiently.

“Further to consultation, the decision by the FFT to postpone Roland-Garros by a week in order to enhance the likelihood of the tournament taking place successfully is therefore fully supported by the Grand Slam Board.”

The FFT’s determination was additionally given the inexperienced mild by the ATP and WTA, governing our bodies of women and men’s skilled tennis respectively.

“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,” learn a joint ATP/WTA assertion.

“Both the WTA and @atptour are supportive of the decision and are working in consultation with all parties impacted by the postponement to optimize the calendar for players, tournaments and fans, in the lead up to and following Roland-Garros.”