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By Richard Pagliaro | Thursday, April 8, 2021

 
Rafael Nadal

The 2021 Roland Garros will be played from Sunday, May 30th-Sunday, June 13th, which is one week later than its originally-scheduled date.

Photo credit: Roland Garros Facebook/French Tennis Federation

Roland Garros is the moveable major. The tournament has officially postponed for one week.

The 2021 French Open will be played from Sunday, May 30th- Sunday, June 13th. That's one week later than its originally scheduled dates of May 23rd-June 6th.

More: Alize Cornet Takes Shot at France Minister of Sport

The 2021 French Open qualifying will be contested from Monday, May 24th-Friday May 28th.



The French Tennis Federation moved the tournament after discussions with government health officials, the other Grand Slams and the game’s governing bodies.




Last month French president Emmanuel Macron ordered France into its third national lockdown responding to a surge of Covid-19 cases in the country.

That means safety restrictions—including a 7 p.m. curfew, travel limitations and the closure of all non-essential shops that has many citizens working from home—are extended another month with a goal of permitting sporting events in mid May if the national health issue improves.

It’s the second straight year the clay-court Slam slides into a new schedule spot.

Last year, Roland Garros moved to the fall finishing play on its latest date in history, Sunday, October 11th.

Fall play was not an option this year as autumn tournaments canceled by the Coronavirus pandemic in 2020 are aiming to return this year.

Another difference: this time the French Tennis Federation discussed moving dates with Grand Slam partners and the game's governing bodies to reach a workable consensus whereas last year the FFT made the unilateral decision to move Roland Garros after the US Open, which created some conflict with partners.





The FFT says the one week postponement will help create a safer climate for players, staff and fans and hopefully allow Roland Garros to permit more fans than the 1,000 per day allowed on the grounds last fall, depending, of course on the state of the Coronavirus pandemic.

“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," French Tennis Federation president Gilles Moretton said. "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.”

Not everyone is on board with the move.

“It stays between us, but our Sports Minister is a disaster,” Alize Cornet told Tennis Channel's Steve Weissman referring to Roxana Maracineanu. “Sorry I have nothing against her, but she only takes bad decisions from sport, it’s like she doesn’t care.

“I know it comes from the government, I’m pretty sure,” Cornet said. “And it might come also from the tournament, because I heard that they might have more people if they postpone for one week, but still I think it’s a pretty selfish decision to be honest, because the calendar is going to suffer from this postponement.”

Tennis Express

The move means four grass-court tournaments, including Stuttgart and Nottingham, will be postponed or cancelled with the FFT reportedly working out compensation with those tournaments to take their spot on the calendar. 

The prospect of hosting more spectators and generating more hospitality revenue, particularly from corporate luxury box holders, also played a part in the postponement.

French publication L'Equipe reports tournament officials are hopeful restrictions on indoor dining in Paris will be lifted on June 1st, which would permit the tournament to host indoor lunches and other events for luxury box guests and increase the tournament's bottom line.

Roland Garros' move means we are in for a summer spectacle that will see four massive tournaments—Roland Garros, Wimbledon the Tokyo Olympic Games and US Open—played between May 30th and September 12th.

That will make for a summer thrill ride for fans and put physical demands on players pursuing majors and medals.

 

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