Tennis

French Open 2021: Delayed by tennis officials due to national restrictions

The main draw of Roland-Garros will start on May 30 and conclude on 13 June. The move likely means the tennis qualification list for the Tokyo Games could be released 14 June.

By Nick McCarvel ·

French Tennis Federation (FFT) officials announced Thursday (8 April) that the French Open main draw would be pushed back from a 23 May start to instead start on 30 May, meaning Roland-Garros will now run 30 May to 13 June.

The International Tennis Federation (ITF) uses the French Open as the final event in the WTA and ATP rankings to allot spots for the upcoming Tokyo Olympics in singles and doubles events, meaning the Olympic cutoff date - initially set for 7 June - could be impacted.

The spots are likely to be allocated the Monday following the French Open, now set for 14 June.

The men's and women's singles draws are of 64 players each at the Games, while doubles and mixed doubles consist of 32 teams each. See a full explainer here of the Olympic tennis qualification process.

“Following the announcement of a one week postponement of Roland-Garros, the ITF is assessing the implications and consulting with key stakeholders, we will share an update in due course," an ITF spokesperson told Olympic Channel.

FFT officials cited a 31 March speech by French President Emmanuel Macron that scheduled a progressive rollout of cultural and sporting events from mid-May.

"Using this as their starting point, the FFT worked in close collaboration with the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport and the relevant government services on potential scenarios for organising Roland-Garros, while taking the international sporting calendar into account," FFT said in a press release. "In this context, it appeared that postponing the tournament by one week would be the best solution."

Officials are still hoping to welcome the public into the tournament, despite strict Covid-19 safety measures in France. The extra week gives the event a better chance of being able to house fans. Only 1,000 fans per day were allowed at the event in 2020.

That 2020 event was pushed from its late-May start to September/October, with Rafael Nadal claiming an historic 13th title and Poland's Iga Swiatek winning her first-ever major trophy.

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