The French Open was postponed for about four months because of the coronavirus pandemic, shifting from May to September and juggling the tennis calendar.
The French tennis federation said Tuesday it will hold its 15-day clay-court event at Roland Garros in Paris from Sept. 20 to Oct. 4, instead of May 24 to June 7, “to ensure the health and safety of everyone involved in organizing the tournament.”
In the statement announcing the move, federation President Bernard Giudicelli described it as “a difficult yet brave decision in this unprecedented situation.” Later, in a conference call with reporters, Giudicelli acknowledged the other Grand Slam tournaments and the men’s and women’s professional tours were informed of the change — but not consulted.
“It’s unthinkable for us to remove Roland Garros from the calendar. The only thing we had in mind is the interests of the tournament, of the players,” Giudicelli said. “We looked at the fortnight that was least damaging for the other (tournaments).”
The French Open’s new dates place it right after the hard-court U.S. Open, which currently is scheduled to be held in New York from Aug. 31 to Sept. 13. Having just one week between two major championships, played on different surfaces, would be unusually short.
The U.S. Tennis Association said later Tuesday it is considering “the possibility” of postponing the U.S. Open because of the outbreak.
In a not-so-veiled jab at the French federation, the USTA issued a statement saying that if there were a change in timing, “we recognize that such a decision should not be made unilaterally.”
The USTA added that it would only move its major championship “in full consultation” with others, including Grand Slam organizers, the WTA and ATP tours and the International Tennis Federation.
The new timeline for the French Open also conflicts