The French Tennis Federation (FTT) officially announced that the French Open will be rescheduled to September 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic. The FTT received a lot of criticism from the 'stakeholders of tennis' for postponing the event to September. Traditionally, the Roland Garros is the second Grand Slam of the year, but the current scenario will mean that the French Open will be the final Grand Slam of the year and will clash with the Laver Cup.
While players like Naomi Osaka and Stanislas Wawrinka expressed their discontent of not being informed on the decision to postpone Roland Garros, reports suggest that the 12-time champion Rafael Nadal was consulted before the official announcement.
Rafael Nadal is widely considered the 'King of Clay' for his excellent record at the Stade Roland Garros, having lifted 12 of his 19 Grand Slam titles there. While many stars including Naomi Osaka and Stanislas Wawrinka were shocked at the verdict of rescheduling the French Open, it seems like the FFT officials kept Rafael Nadal in the loop. The Roland Garros tournament director Guy Forget reportedly got in touch with Rafael Nadal before the official announcement according to French Federation President Bernard Guidicelli.
According to RMC Sport, the FFT had the best interests of the players in mind and cancelling the tournament was unthinkable. He added that Rafael Nadal agreed to the decision that allowed the tournament to stay on the calendar.
RG tournament director Guy Forget called Rafa Nadal before the announcement. Not surprising. https://t.co/6f4CsVGGXm— Simon Cambers (@scambers73) March 17, 2020
Rafael Nadal will have possibly have to defend two Grand Slam titles in a five-week span as the French Open is scheduled just a week after the US Open. The World No.2 lifted both the titles last year and will be aiming to do the same when he takes the court this year. However, Rafael Nadal will have a selection dilemma as the Roland Garros will now clash with the popular Laver Cup.
The Laver Cup is an established exhibition team competition featuring the best players in Europe against the rest of the world. Rafael Nadal is a key member of Team Europe and his decision will have a huge bearing on both the French Open and the Laver Cup.