US Open criticises unilateral changes to Grand Slam calendar after Roland Garros rejig, promises consultation over changes

The revised date of Roland Garros sees them begin a week after the final of the US Open and results in clashes with ATP tournaments in Metz, St. Petersburg, Chengdu, Sofia and Zhuhai as well as WTA events in Guangzhou, Seoul, Tokyo and Wuhan.

Reuters March 18, 2020 09:08:17 IST
US Open criticises unilateral changes to Grand Slam calendar after Roland Garros rejig, promises consultation over changes

Sydney: US Open organisers have responded to the shock decision by their counterparts at Roland Garros to move the tennis tournament to September with a statement obliquely criticising unilateral changes to the Grand Slam calendar.

US Open criticises unilateral changes to Grand Slam calendar after Roland Garros rejig promises consultation over changes

Representational image. Reuters

In a move that stunned the tennis world, Roland Garros organisers on Tuesday postponed the claycourt tournament at Roland Garros from May until September 20 – 4 October because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The switch has placed the tournament a week after the final of the US Open and results in clashes with ATP tournaments in Metz, St. Petersburg, Chengdu, Sofia and Zhuhai as well as WTA events in Guangzhou, Seoul, Tokyo and Wuhan.

The United States Tennis Association (USTA) said currently there were no plans to alter the schedule for the 25 August – 13 September US Open and stressed any potential changes would be made only after consultation with other stakeholders.

“At a time when the world is coming together, we recognize that such a decision should not be made unilaterally,” the statement read.

“Therefore the USTA would only do so in full consultation with the other Grand Slam tournaments, the WTA and ATP, the ITF and our partners, including the Laver Cup.”

The Laver Cup exhibition team competition, heavily promoted by Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, was supposed to take place from 25–27 September in Boston but will now clash with rescheduled Roland Garros.

Wimbledon organisers said they were still proceeding on the basis that the grasscourt Grand Slam would start on 29 June, while organisers of the Australian Open are continuing to work towards the usual January start for the 2021 edition.

The men’s ATP tour, women’s WTA tour and International Tennis Federation have yet to respond publicly to the move but some players have taken to social media to criticise the lack of consultation.

Canadian Vasek Pospisil, a member of the ATP’s Players Council, slammed the decision of the French tennis federation (FFT) as “selfish” and “arrogant”.

“My issue with RG’s decision is the process in which it was done,” he posted on Twitter. “The tour needs to work together if it is the function properly. Now more than ever.”

The organisers of the Korea Open said they had yet to hear from the WTA about the implications of the Roland Garros move on their tournament, which was scheduled to take place in Seoul from 21-27 September.

“We are still in talks of adjusting the Korea Open tour schedule, but nothing has been decided yet,” an official told Reuters. “The schedule would probably change according to amendments in WTA calendar.”

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