French Open delayed to September due to coronavirus

French Open delayed to September due to coronavirus

"In order to ensure the health and safety of everyone involved in the preparation of the tournament, the FFT made the decision to organise the 2020 edition of Roland Garros from 20th September to 4th October 2020", the French Tennis Federation said in a statement on Tuesday.

"The current confinement measures have made it impossible for us to continue with the dates originally planned".

The second of the tennis season's four most prestigious tournaments was scheduled to run between 18 May and 7 June at the Roland Garros stadium on the western fringes of Paris.

FFT's announcement comes after French President Emmanuel Macron's decision to put France in lockdown to put a check on the widening spread of COVID-19.

Regardless of the exceptional circumstances, any move by the French Open that lacked the co-operation of either the men's ATP Tour or the women's WTA Tour - if that is the case here - will test the good faith of both in the French slam organisers.

Any tickets already purchased for the French Open will either be refunded or exchanged for the new dates. WTA Tour made the move to cancel all tournaments on 2 May which has thus affected Indian Wells, Abierto Zapopan, Miami Open, Volvo Car Open in Charleston, Copa Colsanitas in Bogota, Porsche Grand Prix in Stuttgart, Istanbul Open and Prague Open.

Former world No.1 and Japanese tennis star Naomi Osaka also expressed her confusion over the decision on social media as she quote tweeted the Roland Garros' tweet with "excusez moi???" Vasek Pospisil, ATP Player Council member, took to Twitter to voice his displeasure.

"It is a hard but courageous decision that we have taken at this exceptional and evolving time since this weekend", said FFT president Bernard Giudicelli.

The news means the tournament is due to begin a week after the end of the US Open, presenting a challenge for players to reacclimatise to clay and a different time zone at short notice. "We are acting responsibly, and must work together in the fight to ensure everybody's health and safety", said Bernard Giudicelli, president of the FFT.

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