By Ros Satar
- Roland Garros surprised the tennis world by announcing it would run after the US Open
- ATP and WTA tours and the other Slams not consulted
- Laver Cup intends to continue
BOSTON, USA – The Laver Cup was the first of the affected tournaments to fire back after Roland Garros’ surprise announcement that they rescheduled after the US Open
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What is this all about?
On Tuesday (13 March) Roland Garros released a statement saying that the tournament would run later in the year (20 September to 4 October) due to the coronavirus pandemic, which has cut a swathe through the clay court season.
A number of events were scheduled for that time, including the Laver Cup and if should be noted that Rafael Nadal is the defending champion for both Roland Garros and the US Open, and should the Olympics go ahead as planned would be expected to challenge for titles in all three tournaments.
Laver Cup Response
Overnight Laver Cup, run by Tennis Australia, the USTA, the ATP and part of Roger Federer’s Team8 management company, released a statement intending to run as scheduled to a sold-out crowd in Boston.
The tennis world learned today that the French Tennis Federation intends to schedule Roland Garros from Sept 20 – Oct 4, 2020 due to the impact of COVID-19. These dates overlap with the dates of Laver Cup 2020, already sold out, and scheduled for September 25 – 27, 2020 at TD Garden in Boston.
This announcement came as a surprise to us and our partners – Tennis Australia, the USTA and the ATP. It raises many questions and we are assessing the situation. At this time, we want our fans, sponsors, broadcasters, staff, volunteers, players and the great city of Boston to know that we intend to hold Laver Cup 2020 as currently scheduled.
As it stands the remaining Slams, Wimbledon and the US Open, are still continuing to plan for their scheduled dates, and Wimbledon released a statement shortly after Roland Garros.
Overnight the USTA followed suit with a dig at Roland Garros for not consulting with any of the sport’s governing bodies.
The USTA is continuing to plan for the 2020 US Open and is not at this time implementing any changes to the schedule.
These are unprecedented times, though, and we are assessing all of our options, including the possibility of moving the tournament to a later date.
At a time when the world is coming together, we recognise that such a decision should not be made unilaterally, and therefore the USTA would only do so in full consultation with the other Grand Slam tournaments, the WTA and ATP, the ITF and our partners, including the Laver Cup.
What happens next?
Roland Garros ran a serious risk of not being able to run at all, and grabbed what has become the ‘golden slot’ straight after the US Open. It has been a bone of contention with the ITF who was then forced to run their week-long revamped Davis Cup Finals late in the season.
However, in not consulting with the other Slams, players, tours and events, it has opened itself up for a lot of criticism. It also has to be remembered that late autumn in Europe is not known for its warm weather conditions.
However, these are unprecedented times and right now, any sport with spectators in the stands needs to be the end-goal to give people some hope, post-pandemic.
The ATP and WTA are expected to release a joint statement on Wednesday to address the situation as a number of tournaments will be directly affected.
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