In a recent development, the French Open has been postponed by a week in the hope that more spectators will be permitted to attend the Tennis competition. The Grand Slam tournament at Roland Garros will now commence from May 30 and will run until June 13 with the qualifying matches beginning from May 24. The decision comes as France is in the middle of a third nationwide lockdown owing to yet another surge in the number of Coronavirus cases. However, president Emmanuel Macron previously said that he expects the COVID surge to end in mid-May keeping which in mind the new schedule have been announced.
Here's the Official Announcement:
The Roland-Garros tournament, postponed by one week, will be played from 24 May to 13 June 2021. #RolandGarros
— Roland-Garros (@rolandgarros) ?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">April 8, 2021
Postponing was the best solution: French Tennis Federation
Meanwhile, the French Tennis Federation (FTF) said that postponing the tournament was the best solution given the scenario in the country.
"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 in an official statement.
"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," he added.
Earlier in 2020, the French Open had to be postponed till September-October due to the pandemic. Rafael Nadal eventually won the men's singles title - his record 13th at Roland Garros.