- 07 Apr 2021
With France currently reeling from an increase in Covid-19 cases and hospitalizations, the belief is that the FFT is willing to take a gamble on the dates, moving the start main draw play to May 30 instead of May 23, in the hopes that the French authorities will allow more flexibility in health protocols beginning in June. France entered a four-week lockdown on April 3. The seven-day average of new cases has nearly doubled in the last month, while vaccinations have lagged behind in Europe.
INFO L'ÉQUIPE. La FFT devrait rapidement officialiser le report d'une semaine des Internationaux de France 2021. Roland-Garros se déroulerait du 30 mai au 13 juin. https://t.co/NfNnOCW8gy pic.twitter.com/gzdZe5wnLP
— L'ÉQUIPE (@lequipe) April 7, 2021
The end game? Money.
“There is no guarantee that all of this will be possible again by the grace of this one-week delay, but it’s probably a “risk” to take,” wrote Julien Reboullet. “If there really is any easing, tens of millions of additional euros would go into the coffers.”
Grass season could be shortened
With four events scheduled in the week of June 7-13 on grass, events could be cancelled or postponed. ATP Stuttgart, ‘s-Hertogenbosh (WTA/WTA) and WTA Nottingham are the four that would be impacted. If Wimbledon made no changes, the grass season would once again be squeezed into the two-week window after the Roland-Garros finals, as it was in 2014 and prior.
Wimbledon is currently scheduled for June 28-July 11. The tennis event at the Tokyo Olympics is scheduled for July 24 to July 30 and the US Open will be held from August 30 to September 12.
This packed schedule all but rules out a repeat of 2020, which saw Roland-Garros abandon its familiar time slot to be played in October. It was a different landscape with Wimbledon cancelled and the fall season in disarray. This year the calendar is more full, with the Laver Cup in late September and Indian Wells potentially angling to resurface in October if an opening remains.