“Disrupting the Calendar”: American Tennis Star Blasts Roland Garros and ATP on Management of Tournaments

Published 04/13/2021, 7:43 AM EDT
PARIS, FRANCE – JUNE 09: A general view inside Court Philippe Chatrier during the ladies singles final between Sloane Stephens of The United States and Simona Halep of Romania during day fourteen of the 2018 French Open at Roland Garros on June 9, 2018 in Paris, France. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)


Men’s tennis is controlled and governed by the Association of Tennis Professionals, commonly known as the ATP. It controls and handles the tour’s various events, the ATP Challenger Tour and ATP Champions Tour. On the other hand, the French Open, also known as Roland Garros, held in the city of Paris, was founded in 1891 and is organized by the French Tennis Federation.

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Recently, these organizations received criticism from American tennis player Steve Johnson. He was particularly disgruntled by the recent decisions made by the ATP and Roland Garros.

Steve Johnson is disappointed by decisions made by the ATP and Roland Garros

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Similar to last season, the French Open has been postponed. Last year, the organizers held the Grand Slam event in late September. Although, in the current season, the organizers have postponed the event only by a week which means the tournament will commence on May 30.

PARIS, FRANCE – JUNE 01: The Roland Garros logo is seen outside the VIP village on day nine of the 2015 French Open at Roland Garros on June 1, 2015, in Paris, France. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

Taking note of this inconvenience, Johnson came down heavy and stated, We players are always told ATP is such a great system cause we are “equal partners”. Well, what type of system allows Masters 1000 events to pay 60% less when BNP Paribas Open is trying to host their event at 100%. But can’t get approval because other tournament directors are ATP Board members and they want to benefit from these reductions?”

I feel compelled says Johnson

Steve was disappointed with the members of ATP for not allowing the organizers of the BNP Paribas Open to offer full prize money for players. He picked on Roland Garros for changing the dates for the event for a second consecutive year. Steve believes such decisions may lead to complications for the rest of the events of the tennis season, as it did last year.

A general view during the singles final between Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria and David Goffin of Belgium during day eight of the 2017 Nitto ATP Finals at O2 Arena on November 19, 2017, in London, England. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

The 2016 Olympic doubles Bronze medalist further added, “Roland Garros once again unilaterally decides to change the date of their event, disrupting the calendar to accommodate themselves without respect for the consequences and impact it has on the rest of tennis.”

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DIVE DEEPER

Davis Cup Announces New Host Cities and Groups for 2021 Edition

4 months ago

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by Steve Johnson (@steviej345)

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The pandemic and the health hazards and other complications brought on by it have extensively disrupted the tennis season over the past 12 months. However, with the help of restrictions, organizers have been successful to a certain extent in ensuring the smooth flow of tournaments. It will be interesting to see how things unfold as the effects of the pandemic still loom large.

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Rohan Kollare

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Rohan Kollare is a tennis author for EssentiallySports. Rohan has a post-graduate diploma in Sports Management and a trophy cabinet adorned with accolades won in district and state-level tennis competitions. He has previously worked in Content Operations for Disney’s Hotstar for over a year, covering tennis and Formula One.

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