Anger against Roland-Garros unites the world of tennis

Reuters

"The professional tennis season is suspended until June 7, 2020, including the (lower echelon) circuits Challenger and ITF. To date, the tournaments scheduled from June 8 are maintained according to schedule", say ATP and WTA in a joint press release.

Are concerned by this new suspension the ATP and WTA tournaments of Madrid and Rome (Masters 1000 ATP and Premier Mandatory WTA, the most prestigious after the Majors), as well as the WTA of Strasbourg and Rabat, and the ATP of Munich, Estoril , Geneva and Lyon. 

"At the same time, the ATP and WTA rankings will be frozen during this period and until further notice," the statement said.

ATP initially announced that it would suspend its circuit until April 27. The WTA had suspended its own tournaments until May 2.

The ITF had also announced alone the freeze of its competitions (in particular the Fed Cup scheduled for April in Budapest and postponed to an unspecified date) until April 20. On Wednesday, it published a separate press release in which it stressed "aligning with the position of ATP and the WTA" concerning the means of combating the pandemic. But the body is also associated with critics of the French Federation (FFT).

 

- "Collaboration and unity" -
 
"More than ever, the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic for professional tennis require collaboration and unity so that we can do the best for fans, players and tournaments," said the ITF.

The unilateral decision of the FFT organizing Roland-Garros to postpone to the fall (September 20 - October 4) the second Grand Slam tournament of the season, originally scheduled from May 24 to June 7, was not well received by the world tennis.

So that in this first joint press release since the beginning of the chaos created by the Covid-19, the ATP and the WTA underline their dissatisfaction with the organizers of the French Open.

"The challenge of the Covid-19 pandemic for professional tennis requires greater collaboration than ever within the tennis community so that the sport can advance collectively in the best interest of players, tournaments and fans", can we read in the text.

 

- The French Federation criticized -
 
"We are studying all the options in order to preserve and make the most of the tennis calendar, depending on the date of resumption of the circuits which remains to be determined. We are committed to working on these subjects with our players and our tournaments, as well as with other governing bodies in the weeks and months to come, "the statement said.

The four Grand Slam tournaments, Australian Open (hard), Roland-Garros (clay), Wimbledon (grass) and US Open (hard) are the most prestigious of the season but do not depend on ATP, the WTA or the ITF. So that their organizers are free to choose their dates.

The FFT thus moved its Major on Tuesday a week after the final of the US Open and during ATP and WTA tournaments, as well as during the Laver Cup, an exhibition in which Roger Federer is strongly involved and which is scheduled this year in Boston .

"This is not the time to act unilaterally, but in unison", assemble the bodies of world tennis in a criticism addressed to the FFT without naming it. 

"All decisions related to the impact of the coronavirus require adequate consultations and the opinion of all the stakeholders in this game, as the ATP, WTA, ITF and AELTC are convinced. Tennis Club, organizer of Wimbledon), Tennis Australia (Australian Federation which organizes the Australian Open) and USTA (American Federation which organizes the US Open) ", added these authorities.

The only important absentee on this list of tennis rulers: the French Federation.