French Open Postponement Irks US Open, Threatens Laver Cup In Boston


March 18, 2020

The French tennis federation has ruffled feathers by looking out for itself.

The FFT on Tuesday postponed the 2020 French Open, rescheduling the major tournament to begin Sept. 20 and end Oct. 4, 2020 in Paris. As is the case with competitions throughout the sports world, the COVID-19 outbreak is responsible for the decision to move the French Open from its traditional mid- to late-May dates.

“We have made a difficult yet brave decision in this UNPRECEDENTED situation …,” FFT president Bernard Giudicelli said in a statement. “We are acting responsibly, and must work together in the fight to ensure everybody?s health and safety.”

However, another part of Giudicelli’s announcement has rankled many in the tennis world.

“It?s unthinkable for us to remove Roland Garros from the calendar,” Giudicelli said, per The Associated Press. “The only thing we had in mind is the interests of the tournament, of the players. We looked at the fortnight that was least damaging for the other (tournaments).”

The 2020 U.S. Open is scheduled to take place between Aug. 31 to Sept. 13 in New York City. The U.S. Tennis Association hasn’t ruled out postponing the tournament but said Tuesday in a statement it will consult the sport’s other stakeholders before deciding to do so … unlike the FFT.

“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, the ATP the ITF and our partners, including the Laver Cup,” the USTA statement concluded.

Although the U.S. Open will end one week before the start of the French Open, the 2020 Laver Cup is scheduled to take place between Sept. 25 and Sept. 27, 2020 at TD Garden in Boston. The new French Open dates might preclude the likes of Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and other stars from taking part, much to the chagrin of the organizers of the sold-out Laver Cup.

“This announcement came as a surprise to us and our partners — Tennis Australia, the USTA and the ATP,” the Laver Cup said in a statement. “It raises many questions and we are assessing the situation. At this time, we want our fans, sponsors, broadcasters, staff, volunteers, players and the great city of Boston to know that we intend to hold Laver Cup 2020 as currently scheduled.”

Aren’t we all supposed to be working together in these times?

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Thumbnail photo via Susan Mullane/USA TODAY Sports Images
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