For the second consecutive year, the Roland Garros has been the protagonist of a shift from its original dates. In 2020, countless controversies were unleashed following the unilateral choice of the Parisian Slam to move between September and October, given that it would have been impossible to organize the tournament in full lockdown in May.
This year the situation does not look much better, considering that France has had to close everything again to cope with the sudden surge in infections. Above all for this reason, it was decided to postpone the start of the French Open for a week, which will therefore start on May 30th.
It follows that all the other events, especially those on grass-courts that precede Wimbledon, will have to find a solution in order not to see the main draw mutilated by the French giant. Among the victims of the skid there is certainly the Stuttgart ATP event, scheduled from 7 to 13 June.
During an interview with Kicker in recent days, German tournament director Edwin Weindorfer expressed his bitterness at how the situation was handled. "Obviously I can't hide that I'm very angry. The Roland Garros did it all by itself again.
We will not let that week be stolen from us," Weindorfer said, suggesting that he will not give up so easily. Despite the evolution of the calendar, Edwin remains confident that he can persuade some top players to go to Stuttgart.
"You need to be able to react quickly in these unstable times. Maybe Roger Federer or Andy Murray understand that the proximity between Roland Garros and Wimbledon does not help them, or they leave the scene in the first week in Paris," he analyzed.
In fact, the presence of King Roger in the second Grand Slam of the season is anything but obvious. It seems difficult for the 20-time Grand Slam champion to jeopardize his preparation for a tournament in which he has very little chance of winning.
The same argument could also apply to Murray.
OFFICIAL: Roland Garros 2021 postponed by a week!
The news was in the air, but now it's official: the Roland Garros in Paris, initially scheduled to start next May 17th, will slip by a week instead, so it will be held from May 24th (with the start of the billboard qualification) as of June 13, 2021.
The situation of the Covid-19 epidemic in France has in fact worsened in recent hours, forcing President Emmanuel Macron to proclaim a third national lockdown last Saturday. The press release published on the Roland Garros website reads: "In agreement with the French public authorities and the governing bodies of international tennis, the French Tennis Federation has taken the responsible decision to postpone the 2021 edition of Roland Garros.
a week long, with the tournament taking place now from May 24th to June 13th. In his last speech on March 31, the President announced that a program for the progressive restoration of cultural and sporting events, subject to the improvement of the health situation, will be established from mid-May.
Using this as a starting point, the FFT worked closely with the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports and the relevant government departments on possible scenarios for the organization of Roland Garros, while taking into account the international sporting calendar.
In this context, it seemed that the best solution was to postpone the tournament by a week. The qualifying rounds will therefore be held from Monday 24th to Friday 28th May and will be followed by those of the main draw, from 30th May to 13th June ”.
The decision to move the competition by seven days also means that there will be only two weeks before the start of the Wimbledon tournament, canceled in 2020, which starts on June 18. The knock-on effects on the rest of the ATP and WTA calendar of the year are inevitable, especially for the first events on grass which now see themselves threatened by the dangerous expansion of the season on clay.