French Open 2020 delayed by four months after coronavirus quarantine made tournament ‘impossible’ to arrange – The Sun

THE French Open has been dramatically moved back by four months to September, starting ONE WEEK after the US Open.

With France in lockdown and strict measures in place to combat social movement, organisers announced the decision to postpone the event, which was supposed to start on Sunday May 24.

The French Open, won last year by Rafael Nadal, will now be rescheduled for September 20 and October 4.

The biggest complicating factor is the US Open finishes on Sunday September 13.

This would mean some players would have to fly straight to Europe from the hard courts of Flushing Meadows and have one week’s practice on red clay before the next Slam, not to mention TV crews, journalists, officials and fans.

The decision also clashes with the 4th Laver Cup in Boston, which is scheduled for September 25-27, and that will annoy Roger Federer who has a vested playing and business interest in the team tournament.

The continent is currently trying to curb the spread of COVID-19 and with travel bans in place, especially from the US, it had become increasingly unlikely Roland Garros would take place in its normal slot.

The ATP and WTA tennis seasons had already been axed until the start of May.

The French Open has traditionally always been in spring so to have it much later in the year will be unchartered territory.

While there will be a roof on Philippe Chatrier for the first time, the autumnal weather could affect several matches on the outside courts.

A statement said: “The current confinement measures have made it impossible for us to continue with the dates originally planned.

“Though nobody is able to predict what the situation will be on May 18, the current confinement measures have made it impossible for us to continue with our preparations and, as a result, we are unable to hold the tournament on the dates originally planned. 

“At this important period in its history, and since the progress of the stadium modernisation means the tournament can be held at this time, the FFT was keen to maintain the 2020 tournament.”

Bernard Giudicelli, President of the FFT, said: “We have made a difficult yet brave decision in this UNPRECEDENTED situation, which has evolved greatly since last weekend.

“We are acting responsibly, and must work together in the fight to ensure everybody’s health and safety."

No tennis major has been cancelled since the outbreak of the Second World War.

Wimbledon insists it is business as usual for late June and early July but that stance would change if the government's policy of limiting mass gathering is still in place come the summer.

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