PARIS: The delayed French Open will get underway on September 27 with fans in attendance, the Rolland Garros organisers said.
The ruling bodies of world tennis have revealed a new-look calendar for a sport on a hiatus since mid-March due to the coronavirus.
The French Open has switched from its traditional May-June slot and will now commence on September 20. The Grand Slam final will be held on October 11.
The US Open already confirmed to start on August 31 while the ATP and WTA tours have also announced their restart dates. The ATP Tour will resume in Washington from August 14 while the WTA starts in Palermo, Italy, on August 3.
Unlike the US Open in New York, the French Open will maintain its qualifying event in the week before the main draw.
“In the current, difficult climate, we are well aware that it is a privilege to be able to hold Roland Garros in its usual format,” said Bernard Giudicelli, president of the French Tennis Federation (FFT).
“Especially since the qualifying tournament will help to financially support a category of professional players who have been severely affected by this unprecedented crisis.
“The responsible decision we made on March 17 to postpone the Roland Garros tournament until the autumn means that the 2020 clay season can be saved, providing the current situation continues to improve.”
The French tennis chief also insisted that, unlike the US Open, fans would be allowed to attend the tournament. “It will be a number, a percentage which will be defined by mutual agreement with the public authorities,” said Giudicelli.
In 2019, there were 520,000 paying spectators at Roland Garros. The ATP Tour will skip the now cancelled Rogers Cup in Toronto, and head for New York for the relocated Cincinnati Masters and the US Open.
The tour heads to Europe for clay courts events at the Madrid Open and Italian Masters in the run-up to the French Open. The season ends ATP Finals in London expected in mid-July next year.
The WTA set out plans to visit Asia after the conclusion of Roland Garros with the China Open in Beijing set for October 12, leading towards the WTA Finals at Shenzhen from November 9-15. WTA tournaments will not have fans on site.