“We are discussing with the French Federtennis to see if it will be necessary to change the date”. To speak is Roxana Maracineanu, the French minister of sport, and the subject of the discussion is Roland Garros, one of the main tennis events in France, if not the most important. In recent days, the hypothesis of a postponement of the French Open calendar has seen prices increase significantly and now, after the minister’s words, the hypothesis is turning into a concrete possibility. At the moment the ‘start’ of Roland Garros remains fixed at 23 May, but in these days the French government has imposed a hard lockdown on citizens which should end no earlier than four weeks and, therefore, close to the start date of the Slam on clay. A problem! Far more of a problem, however, would be another tournament without spectators and, therefore, without money for the French Federtennis. Naturally, a large part of the federal financial revenues flow precisely thanks to the proceeds of Roland Garros and losing them would be a very hard blow, perhaps unsustainable. Last year the FFT did not give up – as perhaps Wimbledon did more wisely – to set up and organize the tournament, making it a substantial leap forward in the calendar in the two weeks between the end of September and the beginning of October, with temperatures and therefore conditions that are decidedly different from those we are used to. What, on the other hand, he was used to was the cup in Rafael Nadal’s hands and, at least that hasn’t changed. In an age of uncertainty, in society as well as in sport, Roland Garros 2021 edition is no exception: as of today, April, it is not known whether it will start and especially when it will start. In all this, the season on European clay officially began today with two Masters 250s, one in Sardinia, the other in Marbella, while next week we will start to ‘get serious’ with the first ‘1000’ round on clay in the Monegasque Principality.
Rafael Nadal looking sharp in practice ahead of Monte-Carlo
20-time Grand Slam champion, Rafael Nadal, had a concerning start to his 2021 season. He had been suffering from a back issue from the beginning, which forced him to withdraw from every tournament except the Australian Slam. Rafael Nadal’s doctor, Ángel Ruiz Cotorro, recently shared an update on this. The doctor said, “Rafael Nadal is training well, he is training hard. His goal is clay, first Monte-Carlo, and his final goal is Roland Garros.”