French Open Moved to September Due to Coronavirus Outbreak, Drawing Backlash from Many

Vasek Pospisil, a member of the French Tennis Federation, called the decision "selfish" and "arrogant"

As information about the coronavirus pandemic rapidly changes, PEOPLEis committed to providing the most recent data in our coverage. Some of the information in this story may have changed after publication. For the latest on COVID-19, readers are encouraged to use online resources from CDC, WHO, and local public health departments and visit our coronavirus hub.

The decision to delay the 2020 French Open amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak has not been universally supported.

The French Tennis Federation announced Tuesday that the second grand slam tournament of the tennis season will now be held between September 20 and October 4, as opposed to its May 18 start date.

However, many players and tennis organizers have criticized the four-month delay, decided on by FTF president Bernard Giudicelli, and claimed that they were not consulted in the decision.

Vasek Pospisil, a member of the FTF, called the decision “selfish” and arrogant” on Twitter.

“This is such a difficult time,” the Canadian athlete wrote. “Everyone is being impacted by this catastrophe. Enhancing communication & working together to find solutions should be the priority. Not going Rogue & making selfish/arrogant decisions to further impact the tour in a negative way. #RolandGarros.”

British tennis player Jamie Murray also criticized the decision, writing, “Strong Move by French Open/FFT to move to end of Sept. I thought the powers that be in tennis were supposed to be all about working together these day?”

“Excusez moi???” wrote two-time grand slam champion Naomi Osaka.

The new start date for the French Open falls just six days after the end of the U.S. Open, which is typically the tennis season’s final grand slam tournament of the calendar year.

The FTF has said that people who already purchased tickets for the French Open can either ask for refunds or exchanges.

French Open
Adam Pretty/Getty

Since the World Health Organization declared the coronavirus a pandemic, the outbreak has caused major disruptions on a global scale, including in the sports world.

Tennis’ BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells, California and the Miami Open have both been canceled. In addition, the NBA and NHL have suspended their seasons, MLS is planning a 30-day hiatus, and the MLB has suspended spring training and is delaying the start of the regular season.

Outside of sports, schools have been suspending or canceling classes, late-night shows have started to film without live audiences, political rallies have been canceled and airlines have started to cancel flights in response to the fast-spreading disease.

Related Articles