Advertisement

Tennis: French Open delayed a week due to COVID-19

Rafael Nadal, the defending men's singles champion of the French Open, will have to wait another week to start his title defense due to the Grand Slam's postponement. Photo by Julien De Rosa/EPA-EFE
Rafael Nadal, the defending men's singles champion of the French Open, will have to wait another week to start his title defense due to the Grand Slam's postponement. Photo by Julien De Rosa/EPA-EFE

April 8 (UPI) -- The 2021 French Open tennis tournament has been postponed one week due to the coronavirus pandemic, French Tennis Federation officials announced Thursday.

The move comes amid a third national COVID-19 lockdown in France. The latest lockdown, announced Saturday, is expected to end in mid-May. The French Open had been scheduled to start May 23 and is now planned for May 30 in Paris.

Advertisement

"The postponement of the tournament for a week appeared to be the most suitable solution," the FTF said in a news release. "Thus, the qualifications will take place from May 24 to 28 and will be followed by the final draw, from May 30 to June 13.

The clay court Grand Slam was postponed four months in 2020 due to the pandemic. The 2020 Australian Open and 2020 U.S. Open were played as scheduled. Wimbledon was canceled in 2020.

RELATED Hubert Hurkacz jumps 21 spots in ATP rankings after Miami Open win

The French Open's rescheduling for this year impacts the ATP and WTA schedules, which have tournaments that start June 7. The French Open's new finish date is just two weeks before Wimbledon, which starts on June 28 in London. The ATP and WTA said further schedule updates will be "communicated in due course."

"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 ATP and WTA said in a joint statement.

"The decision to delay the start of Roland Garros by one week has been made in the context of recently heightened COVID-19 restrictions in France, with the additional time improving the likelihood of enhanced conditions and ability to welcome fans at the event."

RELATED Ash Barty caps 44-hour commute with Miami Open tennis title

The FTF also said its objective for the 2021 French Open is "to maximize the chances that the tournament can be played in front of the greatest possible number of spectators, both for the players and for the entire community of enthusiasts, while ensuring everyone's health safety."

Rafael Nadal won the 2020 French Open men's singles title. Iga Swiatek won the women's singles title in October at Roland Garros.

RELATED Miami Open highlights Fla. as training ground for women's tennis stars

Latest Headlines