There have been several different reactions to the decision of the French Tennis Federation to delay the Roland Garros Championships. Former French Open doubles champion Julien Benneteau though feels that priority must be given to all the Grand Slams since they are the pillars of the sport.
Benneteau commented, "Let’s not mix it all up, for a grand slam all dates are available. These are the pillars of the game and [in an] exceptional situation, exceptional decisions. Maintaining and rescheduling the remaining three Grand Slams must be the priority”.
The Grand Slams are the biggest revenue earners for their national tennis federations and also provide the most prize money, not only for the top players but also for the players who lose in the early rounds. Several players, although they have been angry that the players were not consulted when a call was taken to move the event by four months, have agreed in the past that the prize money they earn for playing at the Grand Slams helps them get through the rest of the year in a sport which is as expensive as tennis.
The decision of the French Tennis Federation has not gone down well with the other tennis authorities though, including the ATP & WTA Tours and the ITF, USTA, AELTC and Tennis Australia, who feel that the French did not consult them and take into account the impact on other tournaments before making such a big move.
The Roland Garros Championships will now be held in September, just one week after the end of the US Open Championships, if the American Grand Slam is not delayed. The USTA has said they are not changing their dates as of now but will continue to monitor the situation as it evolves and make any changes only after consulting other tennis authorities as well.
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