‘French Open postponement a possibility’

Published April 5, 2021
This file photo shows Spain's Rafael Nadal with the trophy after winning the French Open final against Serbia's Novak Djokovic in October 2020. — Reuters/File
This file photo shows Spain's Rafael Nadal with the trophy after winning the French Open final against Serbia's Novak Djokovic in October 2020. — Reuters/File

PARIS: French Sports Minister Roxana Maracin­eanu said it was possible the French Open could be postoned for the second year amid the COVID-19 crisis.

France entered a third nationwide lockdown on Saturday to contain the coronavirus spread, although professional sports have largely been spared. An exception is cycling’s Paris-Roubaix one-day race, which has been postponed from its original April 11 slot.

The French Open, which last year was postponed by four months and took place in front of limited crowds, is due to start this year on May 23. “We are in discussion with them (the French Tennis Federation, which organises the event) to see if we should change the date to coincide with a possible resumption of all sports and major events,” Maracineanu told France Info radio late on Saturday.

“Today, although high-level sport has been preserved, we try to limit the risks of clusters, of spreading the virus within professional sports.” President Emma­nuel Macron said on Wednesday that he was expecting to re-open the country in mid-May.

The director-general of the French Tennis Federation, Gilles Moreton, said earlier this week that he could not imagine the Grand Slam tournament being cancelled.

Published in Dawn, April 5th, 2021

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