The French Open, one of the four Grand Slam tennis events of the year, has been pushed back by one week in a bid to get more spectators through the doors.
The tournament will now run May 30 – June 13, with qualifying the week before. Organizers said the move would give them “more time to improve and should optimise our chances of welcoming spectators at Roland Garros”.
Last year’s French Open was delayed until September and took place with severely restricted crowds.
France is in the midst of a significant third wave of coronavirus which has sparked another national lockdown. Confirmed cases have dropped significantly in the last two days to under 10,000, but April 4 registered more than 66,000, the highest number this year. The country’s vaccine program has also experienced delays.
The UK’s major tennis tournament, Wimbledon, is due to run June 28 – July 11.
France is also due to be one of the host cities for the ‘Euro 2020’ football tournament, which runs June 11 – July 11 across Europe. However, organizers UEFA are mulling whether some cities should have their games taken away, with reports this week that Dublin may no longer be used because of its inability to guarantee fan numbers.
Doubt remains over the prospects for a physical Cannes Film Festival in July. This week, advertising festival Cannes Lions, scheduled to take place June 21 – 25, went online only due to ongoing pandemic challenges.