French Open 2021 has been postponed by a week, the organisers of the Grand Slam tournament confirmed on Thursday. The main draw of the tournament will now be held from May 30 to June 6, the French Tennis Federation announced. The delay could enable more fans to attend if coronavirus restrictions are eased by then. The qualifying rounds will be held from May 24 to 28.
“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. I thank them for this.
“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,” announced Gilles Moretton, President of the FFT.
Speaking on behalf of the four Grand Slams, Ugo Valensi, Executive Director of the Grand Slam Board commented: “These remain extremely challenging times for communities around the world, and, while there is optimism for the future, it is clear that this pandemic is very much still with us.
The Grand Slams represent the most significant spotlights for our sport and so we will do everything possible to ensure they can be staged successfully. Further to consultation, the decision by the FFT to postpone Roland-Garros by a week in order to enhance the likelihood of the tournament taking place successfully is therefore fully supported by the Grand Slam Board.”
Last year, the clay-court Grand Slam was moved from its traditional dates to 27 September-11 October because of the pandemic.
The ATP and WTA released a joint statement on the tournament’s one-week postponement:
“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 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.
“Both the ATP and WTA are working in consultation with all parties impacted by the postponement to optimise the calendar for players, tournaments and fans in the lead up to and following Roland-Garros. Further updates will be communicated in due course.”