Roland Garros is moving back one week. Just like last year, all other tournaments now have to adapt. “This does not give a good picture of France.

Les Internationaux de France will start in Paris on Sunday 30 May. One week later than planned. In the hope that the French government’s corona measures will be relaxed in June, so that more public can be reached and that terraces and even restaurants can be used. Saves tens of millions in the final bill.

It’s a punishment that we have to hear this via social media.Milos Raonic

Unlike last year, when Roland Garros was moved without boo or ba from the end of May to the end of September, the other grand slam tournaments and the ATP and WTA were now informed. But the plan was still not well received by everyone. “It’s a punishment that we have to hear about this through social media,” said Milos Raonic. “We are surprised,” wrote the Stuttgart grass tournament. “Because we are faced with a fait accompli.” The Mercedes Cup, like the grass tournaments of Rosmalen and Nottingham, is probably sticking to their initial date (7 to 13 June), which now falls in the second week of a grand slam tournament. Certain players will therefore have to renounce their first grass appointment. Just think of David Goffin and Elise Mertens, who are regular customers of the Libéma Open in Rosmalen, but will now (hopefully) still be in Paris.

From an organizational point of view, it will therefore not be an easy task to sell your poster to sponsors and the public. Although there are precedents: during the second week of the US Open last year, the clay tournament of Kitzbühel took place and this year Tennis Australia quickly put together a WTA tournament in the second week of the Australian Open. There will always be players losing quickly in Paris and are more than happy to get started with their grass preparation. All the more because due to the shift there are only two weeks more between the end of Roland Garros and the start of Wimbledon.

Last year they had another reason, but this time it wasn’t a matter of life or death, rather business.Alizé Cornet

And yet again this does not give a good picture of the French approach. “Our Minister of Sports is a drama,” Alizé Cornet (WTA 59) blamed the higher authorities. “She only makes bad decisions for the sport. It is very selfish in any case. This is not good for the Roland Garros image. This is just imposing the law on the tournaments that come after. Last year they had another reason (possible cancellation, ed.) But this time it was not a matter of life or death, rather business. That does not give a good picture of France. ”

Cornet. © AFP

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