“Messes With the Calendar”: Novak Djokovic Opens Up on the 2021 French Open Postponement

Published 04/12/2021, 6:15 AM EDT
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – JANUARY 28: Novak Djokovic of Serbia complains during his Men’s Singles Quarterfinal match against Milos Raonic of Canada on day nine of the 2020 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on January 28, 2020 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Hannah Peters/Getty Images)


Ahead of the 2021 Monte Carlo Masters, Novak Djokovic gave his views on the recent announcement of the 2021 French Open being postponed. Last week, the French Tennis Federation postponed the French Open by a week because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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As a result, the clay-court Grand Slam will begin on May 30 and will finish on June 13, just two weeks before the start of the Wimbledon Championships.

Novak Djokovic reacts during the final against Spain’s Rafael Nadal REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes

Novak Djokovic speaks on the 2021 French Open postponement

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In the pre-tournament press conference, Djokovic talked about having to accept the official decision and just hoped that the tournament would be played eventually. The World No. 1 remembered last year’s French Open, which was deferred by four months and played in cold conditions in October.

“These are the things we have to accept and move on. Hoping that the tournament will be played at the end of the day because that’s what we want. Last year was quite specific because they moved it to October. It was cold, and it was the first time we got to play French Open in those particular conditions,” said Djokovic.

The 18-time Grand Slam champion believes postponing the tournament by a week could mean allowing more spectators in the arena. Last year, the authorities only permitted 1000 people to enter Roland Garros every day.

However, Djokovic expressed disappointment at the impact it would have on the ATP calendar, which would inevitably get disrupted.

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Due to the postponement, the grass-court season will bear the brunt as the Stuttgart (ATP) and Nottingham (WTA) start from June 7, just mid-way through the French Open.

Tennis – French Open – Roland Garros, Paris, France – Serbia’s Novak Djokovic reacts during the final against Spain’s Rafael Nadal REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes

“There might be some loosening of the restrictions so that the crowd allowance percentage will grow…. Every time you move any tournament for a week….it messes up with the calendar and schedule,” said Djokovic.

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At the 2020 French Open, Djokovic reached the final but suffered a humiliating defeat at the hands of Rafael Nadal. It was the third time Djokovic lost to Nadal in a French Open final, with the previous losses coming in the 2012 and 2014 Final.

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Kshitij Tayal

359 articles

Kshitij Tayal is a tennis author at EssentiallySports. Having played district-level tennis competitions, Kshitij is also a tenured journalist of the sport with over four years of experience. At EssentiallySports, he pens down some thought-provoking pieces on players and tournaments across the ATP and WTA.

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