Henri Leconte, one of the more popular players on the French tennis scene in the past couple of decades, says he admires the courage of the French Tennis Federation to move the Roland Garros Grand Slam event to September.
In a column for the Tennis Actu website, Leconte, a former French Open finalist, says, "I find that Roland-Garros had the courage to act. I find it very good! So everyone criticizes them saying that they could have talked with the others ...
no! They immediately decided to postpone Roland Garros. What are the strongest tournaments? These are the Grand Slam tournaments. We all organize each year when we make our calendar knowing that we have Australia, Roland-Garros, Wimbledon and the US Open.
Afterwards, we take all the tournaments to prepare for these 4 tournaments. When there is one who makes a quick, intelligent decision and to be able to protect himself, the partners, and the players too, it was daring so bravo!
Always keep benchmarks. We have a benchmark, it's Roland Garros." Tennis will be able to be played in France starting 11 May and Leconte says that while the resumption of the sport is great news, he is cautious and wants to take a wait and watch approach.
"I think we have to stop saying May 11 as if we could reset everything! Everything can change, I think that we are not going to reopen the valves immediately. We will have to wait a little bit. In other countries, we could see that it was starting to pick up slowly.
It will be step by step. What I think is that we cannot plan a plan right away. We will have to set up a lot of things. In clubs, we will be able to rediscover a little club life that there was no longer before, I sincerely think.
And then tennis, competition and everything ... it will not happen before at least 1 month minimum ... 2 months ... it's clear." The 56 year old Leconte reached the men's singles final at the French Open in 1988, won the French Open men's doubles title in 1984, and was part of France's win the Davis Cup in 1991. His career-high singles ranking was world No. 5.