Bosses at the French federation are full of “attaboys” for what appears to be a perfect call on timing of the clay-court major.

Without warning or consultation in early April, tournament bosses unilaterally delayed the start by a week to this Sunday May 30.

The move was made just as government officials put the country into another COVID lockdown that has not been without its controversies.

But the roll of the dice by swashbuckling Grand Slam officials appears to have worked, with some virus restrictions to be loosened midway though the clay-court fortnight at Roland Garros.

Gloating in Paris could almost be forgiven with news that daily tickeholders through the gates will now be increased from 5,000 to 13,000 after June 8 – a date which will cover the last six days of play.

“Our little bet was a win,” Amelie Oudea-Castera, DG of the federation told AFP.

“The postponement by a week is really a win, it has saved us a nice double-digit million amount.”

As an added bonus, the current 7 p.m. curfew is due to extend to 9 p.m. on Wednesday June 9 for the event which wraps up on Sunday June 13.

“If the tournament had ended on June 6th (the original end date) and the limits had been raised the following Wednesday, it would have been terrible,” Oudea-Castera said.

Main photo:- Amelie Oudea-Castera by Christophe Guibbaud/FFT


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