USTA ‘assessing options’ for US Open after French Open switch

Flushing Meadows

The United States Tennis Association (USTA) says it has not ruled out the possibility of switching the US Open to a later date, after the French Open was moved back to September.

USTA says it is assessing all options but is not currently implementing any changes to its schedule.

The US Open, which is played in New York, is due to begin on 31 August.

USTA also criticised the French Tennis Federation’s unilateral decision to move the dates of Roland Garros.

The event in Paris was due to be played from 24 May to 7 June, but instead will take place from 20 September to 4 October.

That means it will begin just one week after the completion of the US Open.

“At a time when the world is coming together, we recognise that such a decision should not be made unilaterally,” the statement said.

“Therefore the USTA would only [act] in full consultation with the other Grand Slam tournaments, the WTA and ATP, the ITF and our partners, including the Laver Cup.”

The new dates for the French Open mean it will clash with a string of ATP and WTA events, including the start of the traditional Asian leg of the season.

It is also scheduled at the same time as the Laver Cup – the annual men’s team event between Europe and the Rest of the World.

The competition was the brainchild of Roger Federer’s Team8 agency, and is supported by the US Open, the Australian Open and the ATP Tour.

This year’s event is already sold out, and the response from the Laver Cup to the French Federation’s decision was curt.

“This announcement came as a surprise to us and our partners,” it said in a statement. “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.”

The French Federation said on Thursday that the “current confinement measures have made it impossible for us to continue with our preparations”.

In a conference call with reporters, it said it would be unthinkable for the season’s only clay-court Grand Slam not to go ahead.

It said it chose the fortnight that would cause the least inconvenience to the other tours, but admitted it simply informed them – rather than consulted them – about the decision.

Britain’s Jamie Murray was among a group of players to express his surprise.

“Strong move by French Open/FFT to move to end of Sept,” the Scot posted on Twitter.

“I thought the powers that be in tennis were supposed to be all about working together these days?

“The frustration will be that the FFT acted on its own with no regard for any of the other stakeholders in tennis.”

There is already friction between the Grand Slams and some of the players, who do not feel they receive a large enough share of the profits generated.

Meanwhile, the All England Club says it “continues to plan” for Wimbledon and the grass-court season – albeit it with a limited onsite team.

But chief executive Richard Lewis said in a statement that “it remains a continuously evolving situation and we will act responsibly, in the best interests of wider society”.

This year’s Wimbledon is due to take place between 29 June and 12 July.

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