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- The French Tennis Federation has postponed the start of the 2021 French Open by one week.
- Tennis’ only clay-court grand slam will now run from May 24th to June 13th.
- Defending champions Rafael Nadal and Iwa Świątek are the current betting favorites to win at Roland Garros.
The French Open has been postponed by a week amid the COVID-19 crisis.
According to the French Tennis Federation (FFT), the clay-court grand slam will begin on May 30th. The FFT hopes that the delay would let them welcome more fans on the grounds than last year.
The 2020 French Open was also postponed, for four months, and when it commenced, only 1,000 fans per day were allowed to watch the games.
Said FFT President Gilles Moreton in a statement on Thursday:
“It will give the health situation more time to improve and should optimise our chances of welcoming spectators at Roland-Garros.”
With the postponement, the qualifying round for the tournament will be held from May 24 to 28 and the main draw will begin on May 30th and end on June 13th.
Third National Lockdown
Covid-19: France enters third national lockdown amid ICU surge – BBC News #Covid_19 #FranceLockdown https://t.co/KgYa7xnf2X
— Shrimant Mane (@ShrimantManey) April 4, 2021
The French Open is the second tennis major of the year and traditionally begins during the fourth Sunday of May and ends in early June. But due to the COVID-19 pandemic, last year’s tournament started in late September and ended in early October. With the pandemic still threatening France, the French minister of sports said earlier this year that there is a likelihood that this year’s edition of the grand slam will be postponed again.
This year’s French Open was originally scheduled to take place from from May 17th to June 6th. It will now finish two weeks before the scheduled start of Wimbledon and is set to have an impact of the start of the grass season which begins on June 7th in s’Hertogenbosch (WTA and ATP) Stuttgart (ATP) and Nottingham (WTA). But given the situation in France, the FFT had no choice but to move the French Open.
France entered into a third national lockdown last week as the number of people in Intensive Care Unite (ICU) increased to a new 2021 record of 5,729 last March 31st. The surge forced another lockdown and a new series of restrictions with French President Emmanuel Macron saying he hopes to “reopen” the country in mid-May.
Nadal and Swiatek are The Betting Favorites
The common mental approach of Iga Swiatek and Rafael Nadal
A new French Open women’s champion. A legendary French Open men’s champion adding to his trophies. That was the final weekend in a nutshell at Roland Garros this year. But while the October dates… https://t.co/YhTsS2ewx5 pic.twitter.com/N3XV3MfLx9
— HSR Sports (@HsrSports) October 16, 2020
The best tennis betting sites are currently picking defending champions Rafael Nadal and Iwa Swiatek as the odds on favorite to win the men’s and women’s draw, respectively. According to the BetOnline App, Nadal is a +110 favorite with world no. 1 Novak Djokovic listed second at +225. Meanwhile, Swiatek is currently at +500 and 2018 winner Simona Halep right behind at +550.
Nadal won a record-extending 13th title at Roland Garros last year, defeating Djokovic in straight sets while losing only a total of seven games. In doing so, Nadal tied Roger Federer’s all-time record with 20 grand slam singles title won in his career. Nadal lost in the semifinals at this year’s first grand slam in Melbourne but Roland Garros is a different story as he’s won 100 matches with only two losses here in the last 16 years.
19-year old Swiatek was the surprise winner at Roland Garros in 2020. Entering the tournament as the 54th ranked player in the World, Swiatek stunned Halep in the 4th round, losing only three games to the former world number 1. She went on to beat no. 6 Sofia Kenin in the final to become the first Polish player to win a tennis grand slam singles title and the lowest ranked player in the history of th WTA rankings to win at Roland Garros.
Shane grew up watching the Magic & Bird rivalry but ended up rooting for Detroit’s Bad Boys team in the 1990s NBA. He loves to tell sports stories and has been writing about sports since high school. When Shane isn’t busy jotting down his thoughts, he’s just chillin’ at home with his wife Rocelle and their two dogs named Horry and Fisher. He recently added a new family member, adopting a handsome retired K-9 named Ranger.