The French Open will start almost two weeks later than it was originally scheduled due to the ongoing COIVD-19 pandemic. The tournament was set to begin on May 17 but will not start until May 30 instead, the French Tennis Federation (FFT) announced on Thursday.
France has been forced to enter lockdown due to the recent rise in coronavirus cases across the country. On Wednesday, the French Health Ministry reported that 5,729 people were in the ICU due to COVID-19, the highest number since the early days of the pandemic. President Emmanuel Macron said that he hoped the lockdown would help the number of COVID-19 cases to drop, allowing France to re-open by mid-May.
This is the second consecutive year that the tournament has been delayed, as it was pushed back until September in 2020 due to the pandemic. FFT president Gilles Moreton said that he hoped the delay would allow fans to attend the French Open.
“It will give the health situation more time to improve and should optimise our chances of welcoming spectators at Roland-Garros,” Moreton said in a statement.
With the delay, the French Open will now end on June 13, just two weeks before Wimbledon is currently scheduled to begin.