Laver Cup will go ahead despite Roland Garros postponement to September, say organisers
Laver Cup organisers say the exhibition event will go ahead in September as planned despite Roland Garros moving to the same dates as the implications of the French Tennis Federation’s shock gambit began to reverberate on Wednesday.
Sydney: Laver Cup organisers say the exhibition event will go ahead in September as planned despite Roland Garros moving to the same dates as the implications of the French Tennis Federation (FFT)’s shock gambit began to reverberate on Wednesday.
In a move that stunned the tennis world, Roland Garros organisers on Tuesday postponed the clay court Grand Slam from May until late September because of the coronavirus pandemic.
The switch has placed the tournament a week after the US Open final 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.
It also clashes with the 25-27 September Laver Cup, an exhibition event co-created by Roger Federer which has always featured the Swiss great and one of Rafa Nadal or Novak Djokovic.
Laver Cup organisers said they were surprised by the move to switch Roland Garros to 20 September-4 October due to the coronavirus .
“This announcement came as a surprise to us and our partners — Tennis Australia, the USTA and the ATP. It raises many questions and we are assessing the situation,” they said in a statement .
“At this time, we want our fans, sponsors, broadcasters, staff, volunteers, players and the great city of Boston to know that we intend to hold Laver Cup 2020 as currently scheduled.”
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 FFT decision 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 United States Tennis Association (USTA) earlier released a statement which said there were no plans to alter the schedule for the 25 August-13 September US Open and went on to obliquely criticising unilateral changes to the Grand Slam calendar.
“At a time when the world is coming together, we recognise that such a decision should not be made unilaterally,” it 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.”
Wimbledon organisers said they were still proceeding on the basis that the grass court 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.
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.”
The coronavirus pandemic has infected over 190,000 and killed more than 7,500 people worldwide.
The ATP Tour have announced a six-week suspension, the WTA Tour have cancelled events until 2 May, and the ITF has called off all its events including next month’s new-look Fed Cup finals in Budapest
The tournament at Le Golf National was due to be staged two weeks before the French Open tennis grand slam at Roland Garros.
Barty, the 2019 French Open champion, has held the No 1 ranking since September of that year, despite skipping the rescheduled US and French Opens in 2020 to remain in Australia.
Federer hasn't won a tour clay title since Istanbul in 2015; his most recent Masters triumph on the surface was Madrid in 2012.