2021 French Open Schedule Delayed 1 Week Due to COVID-19April 8, 2021
On Thursday, the French Tennis Federation announced the 2021 French Open will be postponed one week amid concerns about the COVID-19 pandemic.
Reuters (h/t ESPN) noted that means the tournament will start May 30 and run through June 13, giving players two weeks until the expected start of Wimbledon in England. Last year's French Open was postponed for four months because of the pandemic and eventually took place in front of limited crowds.
The decision was made with the idea that more fans could attend than the 1,000 per day who were permitted last year.
"It will give the health situation more time to improve and should optimise our chances of welcoming spectators at Roland-Garros," FFT president Gilles Moreton said in a statement. "For the fans, the players and the atmosphere, the presence of spectators is vital for our tournament, the spring's most important international sporting event."
Saskya Vandoorne, Pierre Bairin and Angela Dewan of CNN reported on March 31 that French President Emmanuel Macron announced new restrictions in hopes of limiting the impact of new variants of the virus.
The restrictions were expected to last for at least a month and featured a "limited lockdown," curfews, limited domestic travel, school closures and requests for people to work from home when possible.
While the pandemic forced a delay of last year's French Open, Iga Swiatek eventually won the women's singles tournament to record her first Grand Slam title.
Rafael Nadal took home the men's singles title in Paris for the 13th time. It marked his 20th career major championship, which tied him with Roger Federer for the most men's Grand Slam singles titles in history.