The French Tennis Federation is expected to announce on Thursday that the next Grand Slam event – Roland Garros – will be delayed by a week due to the stricter Covid-19 measures announced by President Macron last week.
The delay will take the event from an early May 23 to an early May 30, and bring the schedule back to the old two-week gap between Roland Garros and Wimbledon. A more comfortable three-week interval has been the norm since 2015.
The news closely follows Wednesday’s postponement of the French Golf Open, which was scheduled to take place May 6-9, but has now been pushed back to an unspecified date later in the year.
The FFT might have liked to take a similar course, as they did last year when the French Open was postponed for four months and started in late September, but the problem was the busy schedule.
The FFT’s one-sided move last year caused significant unrest around the world game, and with Indian Wells still looking to move in the fall, another late-season Roland Garros is said to have sparked an uproar.
Sport Telegraph understands that there is a reduction in attendance planned for this slightly delayed French Open, but that the delay of the week has persuaded government officials to approve the idea of at least a few fans entering Roland Garros. If it had taken place on May 23, the field should have been empty.
Wimbledon also has a policy of reducing attendance, although the government’s roadmap says the last lockdown restrictions will be lifted on June 21. under control at this point.
France has recorded more than 4,000 Covid-19-related deaths in the past fifteen weeks, almost 10 times more than England.