PARIS – The whole matchday of the ongoing French Open was cancelled due to continuous rain starting from midday in Paris, organizers announced on Wednesday, the second time in nearly two decades.
Two women’s and two men’s quarterfinals matches have been rescheduled on Thursday, two hours ahead of the expected time. The women’s semifinals will be rescheduled from Thursday to Friday accordingly.
The last time that French Open witnessed an empty matchday dated back to 2016.
Women’s singles defending champion Simona Halep faces American youngster Amanda Anisimova, and No. 8 seed Ash Barty takes on 14th-seeded Madison Keys. For men’s part, world No. 1 Novak Djokovic meets Alexander Zverev, and Austria’s Dominic Thiem faces Karen Khachanov of Russia.
As the women’s final is traditionally scheduled on Saturday, some women’s players face the possibility of playing in three consecutive days.
Rain is also forecast on Friday. In terms of fairness, organizers may consider putting the women’s final one day off until Sunday.
“That’s not what we want to do,” admitted the tournament director Guy Forget, “But some girls might be playing three days in a row. Most of these girls have been waiting all of their lives to play such a big match, and to actually be playing a match of that magnitude with already two matches in their legs is a difficult task”.
“Hopefully we’ll be able to conclude the women on time and we keep our fingers crossed that we might play through the drops, especially on Friday,” he added.
The organizers didn’t rule out the possibility of concluding the tournament on Monday, which was the case in 2012 when Djokovic and Rafael Nadal played the men’s singles final.
They may also consider using three main courts, namely Philippe Chatrier, Suzanne Lenglen and Simonne Mathieu, to guarantee that the tournament finishes on time.
“We are studying the worse-case scenario,” said Forget.
Roland Garros is the only Grand Slam site without roof on any court. The center court is expected to be installed a retractable roof before the 2020 tournament.