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French Open to be postponed by a further week in new tour schedule

Richie McCormack
Richie McCormack

22:03 23 Apr 2020

This year's French Open at Roland-Garros is to be postponed by a further week as part of a revised WTA and ATP calendar. 

This year's clay court Grand Slam was postponed on St. Patrick's Day with the French Tennis Federation originally announcing a new start date of September 20.

That decision meant that there would be just a week between the end of the US Open and the start of the French, something which angered the US Tennis Association.

However, Le Parisien report that the French Open will now be played from September 27 to October 11.

The new dates come following discussions with both the ATP and WTA Tours. Both are suspended until at least mid-July.

Qualifiers for Roland-Garros will get underway on September 21.

However, not everyone is so optimistic about this year's French Open going ahead at all.

"In my opinion, it's dead", 1983 winner Yannick Noah told RMC on Wednesday.

Noah said he's spoken with Roland-Garros director Guy Forget, adding, "It's going to be difficult, in my opinion. It's very hard for tournaments.

"For Roland-Garros, losing a year economically is really a disaster."

The decision to go ahead may be taken out of the organisers' hands.

On Thursday night, August's European Athletics Championships in Paris became the latest major sporting event to be cancelled as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

French Sports Minister Roxana Maracineau warned that major sporting events in the country are unlikely until at least September, adding, "sport will not be a priority in our society".

Andy Murray is another man sceptical about this year's remaining Grand Slams going ahead.

Wimbledon has already been cancelled, and Murray told CNN, "I would imagine tennis would be one of the last sports to get back to normality because you’ve obviously got players and coaches and teams coming from all over the world into one area.

"I would be surprised if they were back playing sport by September-time.

"You have to feel like the whole world is working normally again and travelling normally before tennis would go back, especially the major competitions.

"If you took the French Open, let's say things in Europe have improved, but there are certain countries that might still have issues.

"If you then have a tournament where people or players from a certain continent or countries are not allowed to come in to compete. I think the tournament loses."

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