Roland Garros officials are planning on a return to the traditional May-June dates for their clay-court major after last season’s COVID-19 schedule change.

The spring event was played in the chill and gloom of autumn, with Rafael Nadal and Poland’s Iga Swiatek lifting the trophies.

But organisers want to return to the status quo in 2021, and said they are moving ahead with plans for a regular start, with qualifying from May 17 and the men’s final on June 6.

The rump 2020 edition was staged with a maximum of 1,000 fans onsite, a situation tennis bosses are hoping will not be necessary in two and a half months.

“Our desire is to be able, in accordance with the decisions of the government and with the extremely ambitious and rigorous application of a very well-crafted health protocol, to organise Roland Garros on May 17 to Jun 6,” new federation director-general Amelie Oudea-Castera said.

“(And) with the highest possible number of spectators which will be allowed by the authorities.”

Much may depend on the evolution of the COVID situation in France, where Paris remains under an overnight curfew from 6 pm and vaccine take-up is alarmingly low among a rather sceptical population.

“We are working on different scenarios,” the new boss said. “No idea is taboo, we want to achieve the best compromise between sports and health.

“The objective is to maximise the limit with regard to what the circulation of the virus and the progress of vaccinations will allow us to do.”

Main photo:- Amelie Oudea-Castera © FFT


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