Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 2 July 2020

CORONAVIRUS

Coronavirus: French Open delayed until September amid Covid-19 outbreak

The second Grand Slam on this year's calendar initially scheduled to be played from May 24-June 7

The French Open tennis tournament has been postponed until September amid the coronavirus outbreak, organisers said.

The second Grand Slam on this year's calendar initially scheduled to be played from May 24-June 7 will now take place from September 20-October 4.

The French Tennis Federation said the decision was taken to "guarantee the health and safety of all those involved in the preparation" of the Roland Garros tournament.

"While no one today can predict what the health situation will be like on May 18 [when qualifications were due to start], the lockdown measures in force make it impossible to prepare for it and therefore to organise it on the dates initially planned."

The brand new roof on the main Philippe Chatrier court has already been installed but was not in service yet and needed more testing until the end of April, added officials.

Last week, the ATP suspended its professional men’s tennis tour for six weeks while the WTA on Monday suspended play until May 2.

The FFT said that ticket-holders for the French Open could either be reimbursed or change their tickets for the new dates.

"It is a difficult but courageous decision that we have taken at this exceptional and evolving time since this weekend," said FFT president Bernard Giudicelli.

"We are acting responsibly, we must stand together in solidarity in this fight for everyone's safety."

The coronavirus outbreak has infected over 190,000 and killed more than 7,500 people worldwide as the epicentre of the pandemic has switched from China to Europe.

Updated: March 17, 2020 08:58 PM

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