Organizers for The French Open announced changes to the dates for the second major of the season on Tuesday. The French Open, which was to take place from May 24 to June 7, has been moved to September 20 to October 4. The reason for the change in dates is because of the Coronavirus.
Association of Tennis Professionals Player Council member Vasek Pospisil of Vernon, British Columbia, expressed his frustrations with the change in dates and the fact the players were not consulted. Pospisil, who represents Canada internationally, and won the 2014 Wimbledon men’s doubles final with American Jack Sock said the following to the New York Times according to Matias Grez of CNN.
“That’s insane. These are really rough times, unprecedented times, and this just goes against the whole idea of the tour working together. We have a calendar. We have discussions and negotiations between the grand slams and the ATP. We are always trying to make it work for everybody, and they just haven’t consulted the ATP, the players or the other tournaments. It’s just a very selfish move. They are basically doing a power play right now and it’s quite arrogant.”
Another person opposed to the French Open’s abrupt decision to change their dates is Australian tennis coach Darren Cahill, who currently coaches Simona Halep of Romania, who won the 2018 French Open. Cahill said the following:
“Nobody wants to see RG (Roland Garros) cancelled mate. Just all work together to fix a schedule that makes sense when things clear up a bit. Players, tournaments, Majors, men and women all in a room. Now is a bit early for answers.”
One of the tournaments that is now impacted is the Laver Cup, a men’s team competition between Europe and the rest of the world. This year’s event is scheduled for Boston from September 25 to 27. Organizers are still planning to host the event during that time.
One must also realize there will be a very short time period between majors. The United States Open is set to finish on September 13.
It is very possible at this time that you could see tennis superstars Rafael Nadal of Spain be competing at the French Open and Roger Federer of Switzerland be competing at the Laver Cup. Nadal is a 12-time French Open champion, while Federer was one of the initial creators of the Laver Cup in 2017.
Already due to the Coronavirus, tournaments in Indian Wells, CA, Miami, FL and Monte Carlo, Monaco have been cancelled. The ATP announced on March 12 that there will be a six week suspension of events. Events in Houston, Barcelona, Budapest and Marrakesh are also cancelled.