In the last few hours, the news has come that Roland Garros will start a week later than the original date. Due to the delicate health situation in France and in the hope of being able to welcome a slice of the public, it was decided to move the second seasonal Grand Slam from May 30 to June 13.
The qualifiers will instead take place starting from May 24th. The grass season will be cut from three to two weeks before Wimbledon. “This time too it was necessary to react quickly in order not to affect the other events on the calendar” - reads a joint note released by the ATP and the WTA.
“The decision was made in the context of the anti-covid measures recently implemented in France. This shift also increases the chances of seeing a portion of fans at Roland Garros." We remind you that in this edition the evening session will also be set up for the first time in the history of the French Open.
Interviewed on the subject by L’Equipe, the director of the tournament Guy Forget illustrated how the programming between the men's and women's draws will be managed. He also talked about Rafael Nadal.
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“We didn't stop ourselves from playing women's matches.
We didn't think we would only play men's matches either. If at any point there is a women's game that is a great showdown, it could be the game of the day, the one people want to see first. We will want to put this match in the evening session.
We will make sure to put on the game that is really expected every time so that people have a great time at Roland Garros," said the former Davis Cup captain. “The first rounds for the seeds are often one-sided matches.
We will rather favor men's matches, even if Rafael Nadal wins 6–1, 6–2, 6–3, he will play for 1 hour 45 minutes or 2 hours. If it's 6–1, 6–1 in women, it can take 40 minutes" - Guy Forget stated.
The president of the French Tennis Federation, Gilles Moretton, emphasized the French Open‘s attempt to host fans this year. Thus the postponement would help in securing the whole Roland Garros area, and if the situation improves by mid-may, French Open could well be good to go with spectators.
“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."