Hopes are rising among organisers that the delayed edition of Roland Garros can be staged in late September without stepping on the toes of the still-in-doubt US Open.
Paris TD Guy Forget gave an optimistic appraisal of chances for the COVID-19 delayed clay-court major to be played as he spoke with Europe 1 radio.
“The official announcement has not been made yet. It (Roland Garros) will probably be between the end of September and the beginning of October.
“We’ve been working closely with the ATP, the WTA and the ITF to make a global announcement on what the circuit will be like until the end of the year,” the former Davis Cup captain said.
French tennis bosses acted unilaterally weeks ago,taking tennis by surprise as it slid its Grand Slam which was to have begun on Sunday by four months in hopes that the worldwide virus pandemic will have quieted down enough to allow play.
The Chatrier centre court at Roland Garros is now ready with its new translucent moveable roof, with administrators keen to show off the expensive prestige project.
The US Open – due to begin on August 31 but still not confirmed – is facing grave doubts about it viability as New York recovers from the worst virus outbreak in the US.
“There are so many question marks. The city of New York is more affected by the coronavirus than France,” Forget said.
“They also have a lot of organisation problems, they will make an announcement mid-June to say how it’s going to be like for the U.S. Open.”
Forget admitted that the official all-clear has not been sounded by the French government, which currently has a ban on large gatherings of 5,000 or more spectators.
“We’ll see how the situation is in a couple of months. We will adapt to what the government will say. We have to be ambitious and optimistic.”
The Roland Garros event had originally been due to start this week, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, organisers postponed the start to September 20, a week after the US Open final.