French Open Held in Autumn for the First Time

French Open Held in Autumn for the First Time
The Roland Garros tennis tournament, or French Open as it’s popularly known, is usually held in May. But the COVID-19 pandemic has created a uniquely challenging situation. The event has been postponed and will now open on Monday, September 21st. This is the first time it’s ever been held in the autumn season. It will run through October 11th. The Roland Garros story begins in 1891, with the creation of the “French Clay-Court Championships.” The tournament, subsequently named for the famed French aviator (1888-1918), was reserved for players who were members of French clubs, and was held at venues alternating between the Stade Français, the Parc de Saint-Cloud and the Racing Club de France’s Croix-Catelan grounds. Photo credit: Gil de Kermadec/ FFT “The world is affected by the public health crisis connected with COVID-19. In order to act responsibly and protect the health of its employees, service providers and suppliers during the organization period, the French Tennis Federation has chosen the only option allowing them to maintain the 2020 edition of the tournament while joining the fight against COVID-19,” explains the Fédération française de tennis (FFT). “At this important period in its history, and since the progress of the stadium modernization means the tournament can be held at this time, the FFT is keen to maintain the 2020 tournament. We are acting responsibly, and must work together in the fight to ensure everybody’s health and safety,” explained Bernard Giudicelli, President of the FFT. “Of course, masks are mandatory for everyone, even while seated. “Since the international tennis circuit restarted, Roland Garros is the first tournament with the privilege of hosting an audience.” The Philippe Chatrier court. Credit FFT The big news this year? After 10 months of extensive renovations, the new Philippe Chatrier court has been unveiled– seating approximately 15,000 spectators daily. The stadium was redesigned to make it more spacious, modern and comfortable. The highlight will certainly be the retractable roof – due to be completed in time for next year’s tournament (May 23rd-June 6th, 2021 – fingers crossed). This means play can continue during rain and in the evenings. Organizers announced that the site, which spans less than 30 acres, will be split into three zones. Each zone includes a show court and surrounding courts – no movement is allowed between zones. Roland Garros. Credit FFT

Lead photo credit : Credit Pauline Ballet/ FFT

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Born in Hampton, Middlesex, UK, Margaret Kemp is a lifestyle journalist, based between London, Paris and the world. Intensive cookery courses at The Cordon Bleu, London, a wedding gift from a very astute ex-husband, gave her the base that would take her travelling (leaving the astute one behind) in search of rare food and wine experiences, such as the vineyards of Thailand, 'gator hunting in South Florida, learning to make eye-watering spicy food in Kerala;pasta making in a tiny Tuscany trattoria. She has contributed to The Guardian, The Financial Times Weekend and FT. How To Spend, The Spectator, Condé Nast Traveller, Food & Travel, and Luxos Magazine. She also advises as consultant to luxury hotels and restaurants. Over the years, Kemp has amassed a faithful following on BonjourParis. If she were a dish she'd be Alain Passard's Millefeuille “Caprice d'Enfant”, as a painting: Manet’s Dejeuner sur l’herbe !


  • Vitalia Diatchenko
    2020-10-16 04:28:45
    Vitalia Diatchenko
    Rafael Nadal is definitely one of my favorite players. I love his style, his power and definitely he is so beautiful