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Tennis News • Other Tournaments Were Not Too Pleased About The French Open Going Rogue

By Ricky Dimon

Without consulting anyone, the French Tennis Federation recently announced that due to the ongoing coronavirus crisis it was moving the French Open from its traditional May-June slot to Sept. 20-Oct. 4.

“Without consulting anyone” is one problem. Problem number two–among others–is that a the new dates conflict with a whole host of previously scheduled events. Across both the ATP and WTA tours, tournaments in St. Petersburg, Metz, Chengdu, Zhuhai, Sofia, Guangzhou, Seoul, Tokyo, Wuhan, Tashkent, and the Laver Cup in Boston were–and still are–on the either the late September or early October calendar.

“This announcement came as a surprise to us and our partners, Tennis Australia, the U.S. Open, and the ATP,” Laver Cup officials stated. “It raises many questions and we are assessing the situation. At this time, we want [our fans, sponsors etc.] to know that we intend to hold the Laver Cup 2020 as currently scheduled.”

It is true that the Laver Cup is an outrageously fun and entertaining event, but it is really an exhibition that features only 12 players and lasts just three days. Compared to the U.S. Open, for example, Sir Laver’s festivities are not a big deal. Far more important is that the French Open is now scheduled to begin exactly one month after the U.S. Open ends. That’s right; one week in between two majors. And two majors on two different surfaces! You just cannot make this stuff up, folks.

“These are unprecedented time…and we are assessing all of our options, including the possibility of moving the tournament to a later date,” the USTA wrote in a press release following the Roland Garros announcement, before throwing some obvious shade at the clay-court major. “At a time when the world is coming together, we recognize that such a decision should not be made unilaterally and therefore the USTA would only do so in full consultation with the other Grand Slam tournaments, the WTA and ATP, the ITF and our partners, including the Laver Cup.”

Wimbledon faces no conflict with the French Open in terms of scheduling, but it is dealing with a race against time. Early July dates tenuous at best given the world’s current chaos.

“At the heart of our decision-making is our commitment to the health and safety of our members, staff, and the public, and we are grateful to the government and public health authorities for their advice and support,” said Richard Lewis, chief executive of the All-England Lawn and Tennis Club.

“While we continue to plan for The Championships at this time, it remains a continuously evolving situation and we will act responsibly, in the best interests of wider society. We thank all of our members, staff, players, partners, contractors, and the public for their patience and trust as we continue to navigate this unprecedented global challenge.”

At this point, any more tennis at all in 2020 looks like a great challenge.

Ricky contributes to10sballs.com and also maintains his own tennis website, The Grandstand. You can follow him on twitter at @Dimonator.

Editors note: See statement below from Canada tennis.

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