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French Open changes dates due to coronavirus

France Tennis French Open

A tennis ball is pictured on a court at the Roland Garros stadium in Paris, Friday, May 25, 2018. The French Open tennis tournament starts Sunday. (AP Photo/Michel Euler)

AP

The French Open tennis Grand Slam has been postponed from a May 24 start to Sept. 20-Oct. 4 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Roland Garros will now start one week after the end of the U.S. Open, traditionally the season’s last Slam.

“Though nobody is able to predict what the situation will be on 18th May, the current confinement measures have made it impossible for us to continue with our preparations and, as a result, we are unable to hold the tournament on the dates originally planned,” according to a tournament press release.

Previously, the ATP and WTA Tours called off all tournaments into late April, including the BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells, considered the sport’s fifth-biggest annual tournament after the four majors.

The next scheduled Grand Slam is Wimbledon from June 29-July 12.

The French Open was scheduled to be the final tournament in the Olympic qualifying window. ATP and WTA rankings after the event were to determine the Olympic singles fields.

The new French Open dates coincide with the Laver Cup, a men’s team event that drew Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic among its first three editions. This year’s Laver Cup is scheduled for Boston from Sept. 25-27.

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