'Wreak havoc': French Open's shock move in 'vital' bid for fans

Chris Young
·Sports Reporter
·4-min read
The 2021 French Open has been postponed by week amid new coronavirus restrictions imposed in the European nation, with organisers hoping the delay will allow fans to watch the tournament. (Photo by TF-Images/Getty Images)
The 2021 French Open has been postponed by week amid new coronavirus restrictions imposed in the European nation, with organisers hoping the delay will allow fans to watch the tournament. (Photo by TF-Images/Getty Images)

In a joint statement, the ATP and WTA have confirmed the French Open will be delayed by one week, with the main draw of the tournament now set to commence on May 30.

Sources close to Roland Garros organisers had reported the tournament was likely to be delayed, however the news was only officially confirmed on Thursday evening AEST.

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The delay has been caused by lockdown restrictions recently imposed in France, with the joint ATP/WTA statement expressing hope that the postponement would mean fans may be allowed in.

"Tennis has required an agile approach to the calendar over the past 12 months in order to manage the challenges of the pandemic, and this continues to be the case," the statement read.

"The decision to delay the start of Roland Garros by one week has been made in the context of recently heightened COVID-19 restrictions in France, with the additional time improving the likelihood of enhanced conditions and ability to welcome fans at the event.

"Both the WTA and ATP are working in consultation with all parties impacted by the postponement to optimise the calendar for players, tournaments and fans, in the lead-up to and following Roland Garros."

The confirmation of the delay prompted widespread speculation over the future of the 2021 Wimbledon tournament, which was not held last year due to the pandemic.

Soon after Roland Garros announcement, it was confirmed that Wimbledon's schedule would not be affected, however the grasscourt season was to be shortened by one week to account for the delayed French Open.

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French President Emmanuel Macron said on Wednesday that he was expecting to re-open the country in mid-May.

The director-general of the French Tennis Federation, Gilles Moreton, said earlier this week that he could not imagine the grand slam tournament being cancelled.

Ash Barty, pictured here after winning the French Open in 2019.
Ash Barty won the French Open in 2019. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

French player's hilarious reaction to tennis bombshell

French tennis star Alize Cornet has delivered the 'response of the year' during a live interview after being told there were local reports the French Open would be postponed.

The lively French star won her match against Elise Mertens at the Charleston Open 7-5, 6-3 and joined Ash Barty to reach the Round of 16 on the American clay-court tournament.

Cornet was her joyous self after the match and featured on Tennis Channel to talk about her how she was feeling heading into the next round.

But then interviewer Steve Weismann asked how she felt about reports the French Open is set to be delayed for the second year in a row due to Covid-19.

French tennis player Alize Cornet had an exasperated reaction to news the French Open was likely to be postponed. Picture: Tennis Channel
French tennis player Alize Cornet had an exasperated reaction to news the French Open was likely to be postponed. Picture: Tennis Channel

Cornet, maybe forgetting she was live on Tennis Channel, provided one of the 'responses of the year' when letting out her exasperation.

"It stays between us, but our sports minister is a disaster," a shocked looking Cornet told the Tennis Channel.

"Sorry I have nothing against her, but she takes bad decisions for the sport. It's like she doesn't care.

"I know it comes from the government, it might also come from the tournament because I heard they might have more people if they postpone for one week.

"But still I think it is a pretty selfish decision, to be honest, because the calendar is going to suffer from this postponement."

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