The global tennis calendar has been thrown into further chaos after the decision by French Open organisers to postpone the Grand Slam, with players and rival tournaments critical of the apparently unilateral move.
The event at Roland Garros, traditionally the second major of the season, was on Tuesday moved from a May 24 start date to September 20, meaning it would start just one week after the US Open, if that event remains in its original slot.
Organisers said strict confinement measures imposed by the French government to tackle COVID-19 had made it impossible to continue with preparations.
French Tennis Federation president Bernard Giudicelli said: “We have made a difficult yet brave decision in this unprecedented situation, which has evolved greatly since last weekend.”
Organisers of the Grand Slam in New York acknowledged it might need to be moved but, in a scarcely veiled dig at the French Open organisers, said they would not go it alone .
The rescheduled French Open would also clash with the start of a series of Asian tournaments and the Laver Cup team competition, due to take place in Boston from September 25 to 27.
The men’s ATP tour and the women’s WTA tour are both currently suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic.