French Open postponed by a week so more fans can attend

Ben Burrows
·2-min read
A general view of the Philippe Chatrier court at Roland Garros (AFP via Getty Images)
A general view of the Philippe Chatrier court at Roland Garros (AFP via Getty Images)

The French Open has been postponed by a week in the hope more spectators will be allowed to attend, it has been confirmed.

The 2021 tournament will now begin on 30 May, the French Tennis Federation (FFT) confirmed on Thursday.

The sole clay-court grand slam, which last year was put back four months and took place in front of limited crowds, was due to start this year on 23 May.

This year’s edition will finish on 13 June, two weeks before the expected start of Wimbledon.

“I am delighted that the discussions with the public authorities, the governing bodies of international tennis, our partners and broadcasters, and the ongoing work with the WTA and ATP, have made it possible for us to postpone the 2021 Roland Garros tournament by a week,” FFT president Gilles Moretton said.

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“It will give the health situation more time to improve and should optimise our chances of welcoming spectators at Roland Garros, into our newly-transformed stadium that now covers more than 30 acres.

“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.”

The decision obviously affects the rest of the tennis season, with an already-full calendar having to be readjusted.

The Lawn Tennis Association said: “The decision to move Roland-Garros will obviously create a knock-on effect for the summer grass-court season.

“We are currently looking at the implications for our events and if we will need to make changes to our calendar. We will communicate any updates to all parties as soon as possible.”

The WTA and ATP, who respectively organise the heavily packed women’s and men’s tours, have said they will work alongside the French Tennis Federation after the decision was announced.

“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,” the WTA and ATP said in a statement.

“Both the WTA and ATP 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.”