The French Open 2020 has been officially postponed in the latest bombshell that has been dropped on the world of tennis. Roland Garros will now take place from September 20 to October 4. This is in contrast to the originally scheduled dates of 24 May to June 7.
However, the revised date has caused a great deal of controversy. This is because according to the tennis calendar, now the French Open will take place just one week after the US Open! Yes, you read that correctly. There will be just a one week gap between two of the biggest tennis tournaments of the year.
We are pretty sure our readers can already figure out hundreds of complications that would lead to. Let’s list out some of them and the gross practical difficulties that have been ignored in this decision.
First and foremost, the most obvious difficulty. There are already tournaments that are scheduled to take place on those dates!
On the ATP calendar, the following tournaments are under threat of competition from Roland Garros –
St. Petersburg Open (September 21 to September 27)
Moselle Open (September 21 to September 27)
Laver Cup (September 25 to September 27)
Chengdu Open (September 28 to October 4)
Hujain Securities Zuhai Championships (September 28 to October 4)
Sofia Open (September 28 to October 4)
China Open (October 5 to October 11) Just one day after the French Open, so practically impossible for many tennis stars
Rakuten Japan Open Tennis Championships (October 5 to October 11)
On the WTA side, the following events will be clashing with Roland Garros –
Hana-Cupid Japan Women’s Open (September 14 to September 20)
Jiangxi Open (September 14 to September 20)
Zhengzhou Open (September 14 to September 20)
Guangzhou Open (September 21 to September 26)
KEB Hana Bank Korea Open 2020 (September 21 to September 27)
Today Pan Pacific Open (September 21 to September 27)
2020 Dongfeng Motor Wuhan Open (September 27 to October 3)
Tashkent Open (September 28 to October 3)
China Open (October 3 to October 11)
Taipei OEC Open (October 5 to October 11)
With these tournaments clashing with the French Open, things are extremely bleak for them. Players might just go for the grand slam leading to a great competition deficit here. However, there are other major concerns beyond this surface-level problem.
The Roland Garros is scheduled to begin just one week after the US Open. Both are grand slams with an immense level of prestige. Understandably enough, most players would like to play both the tournaments.
However, that’s obviously a very difficult thing to do. A grand slam is a very gruelling tournament because of the level of practice involved and the sheer length of the event. It is just cruel to expect players to go through the slogging for two continuous grand slams.
Hence, many players are likely to make a choice between the two. That’s just an unfair choice to put before the players who want to play every grand slam because of the points involved. This is even more unfair for those players who’ve done well in 2019. Think of Rafael Nadal. He won both the Roland Garros and the US Open. If he skips either one, he loses massive points for no real fault of his own.
A secondary concern is regarding the practice. Both events are played on different surfaces. Because of its placement, players are not likely to get any clay court practice before the French Open. In fact, the entire clay-court season has been scrapped because of the Coronavirus.
Which brings us to another major point. There are already a multitude of tournaments that have been postponed. These include the BNP Paribas, the Miami Open, Barcelona Open and the Monte Carlo Masters. None of these tournaments has released a probable date for their start. If and when they do, it might further complicate the already cramped up schedule of the year.
As you can see, the questions are many. However, the answers can only be given by the authorities. In fact, a joint statement is expected by the ATP and WTA tours by tomorrow which can make things a little more clear.