March 17, 2020 / 6:42 PM / 12 days ago

Tennis-It was unthinkable to cancel 2020 French Open, say organisers

March 17 (Reuters) - French Open organisers said it was unthinkable for them to cancel the 2020 edition of the claycourt Grand Slam after they received a barrage of criticism for rescheduling the event in the middle of the hardcourt season because of the coronavirus pandemic.

“For us it was unthinkable (to cancel), the only thing we had in mind was the interest of the tournament and of the players,” French tennis federation president Bernard Giudicelli told reporters.

The tournament, which was due to be held from May 24-June 7, will be staged from Sept 20-Oct 4, meaning it will start one week after the U.S. Open and clash with many other hardcourt tournaments usually staged during that time.

“We had exchanges with the ATP, the WTA, the ITF and we informed the other Grand Slam organisers,” said Giudicelli.

Reporting by Julien Pretot; Editing by Pritha Sarkar

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