No matter if it is just a hobby or something you approach seriously, sport is a big part of our life. Even though some sports are more popular than others, what we can all agree on is that no matter if you are a tennis enthusiast or not, four Grand Slams in tennis represent something much more than just tennis tournaments. Roland-Garros or the French Open takes place in one of the most beautiful cities in the world, Paris, and with everything going on in the world, many people have concerns about whether it will be held, and if so, in what conditions. All that is a reason more to take a close look at what can we expect from this year’s French Open.
1. Returning to normal dates
The French Open is considered by many to be the most demanding tennis tournament. The competition starts every year at the end of May and lasts for two weeks, but last year, due to the pandemic, it had to be moved to the fall because the whole world was without sports for five months. This year, the French Open is expected to return to its traditional dates, and the tournament will be held from May 17 to June 6. Unfortunately, the pandemic is unpredictable, and there is always a possibility of some changes, but the organizers hope that this year things will better than the last one. The availability of the vaccine has a huge role here, and what hosts are hoping is that until the tournament starts, much of COVID-19 related problems will be a thing of the past. The change of date does not suit either the organizers or the athletes who already have a busy schedule, but what is currently most important is preventing the spread of the virus. The organizers are hoping that this year there will be no further scheduling changes, meaning that the tournament will take place in the same period in which it has been held for a long time. It is something of a tradition, and as every tennis lover already knows, the Australian Open is at the beginning of the year, and the USA Open is the last of four grand slams (Aug-Sep). The most significant events in the tennis world that last from May until the middle of July are, of course, Roland-Garros and Wimbledon.
2. Audience return
In addition to the change of date, last year brought many other changes.
One of the most important ones was regarding fans, meaning that the games and tournaments were held without the audience. It was a tough decision, but one that needed to be made. Although it meant too much money loss for the organizers and a game under new, unusual, and much harder circumstances for the athletes, the decision to actually go with the tournament was of great importance. The audience has an immeasurable role in any sport, and playing without it is always challenging, and even though for some athletes it may be easier the perform since there is less pressure, it is also not something we all used to, and, what’s even more important, it is not something sport is about since what is the sport without the audience, for whom the players are playing for, beside themselves. That is why this year, the organizers are hoping to bring the audience back to the stands. It will take a lot of effort to comply with all epidemiological measures, and it will be an organizing nightmare, but organizers hope that vaccination will help. It will be impossible to do everything so that all 15.225 people would be in the stands of the Roland-Garros central court, Philippe Chatrier, but even if there are 25% of the fans in the stands, that return of the audience will mean a lot for the players, tournament, and sport itself. Support from the fans is essential to every athlete, and also, the organizers will get a lot of money back. On the other side, getting back to regular life is something that we all want, and for tennis fans, watching their favorite tournament is a big step in that direction.
3. Great games
As one of the most famous tournaments, the French Open always gathers phenomenal athletes. That is why watching all the matches is a true pleasure for all tennis fans. They consider this tournament a real physical challenge because of two things. The first is that there is no tie-break in the final set, and the second is the surface itself, which slows down the ball and the game, and because of that, strong serves have no effect. As a result, there are significantly fewer aces than in other tournaments, and sets can last for several hours. For those who enjoy watching tennis, this tournament is a real holiday because it guarantees great participants and long matches full of excitement. Only the most enduring and the best gather at this tournament, so it is practically impossible to say for some match that it is not interesting enough.
4. Paris at night and tennis
One of the main scheduling-related changes is about the night sessions, and what was before a possibility, in 2021, it will become a reality. For many years there was a lot of talk about the matches played at night, why the organizers don’t do it regularly, and this year, the Paris Slam fulfilled this fans’ dream. The whole thing should look amazing, and the players will step on the court under the spotlight, much like in the NBA games, which will just add more style to the whole tournament, and as we all know, or at least saw the photos of Paris at night, it should look exceptional.
5. Matches on all 16 courts
Last year’s tournament was different in so many ways, and, speaking about courts, since two of them were under construction last year, the French Open was played on 14 courts. This year, since the reconstruction on courts no. 6 and no. 8 is finished, we can once again watch and enjoy tennis matches on all 16 courts.
As the organizers already mentioned several times, since they were able to organize French Open last year, there is no reason not to do it in 2021. And this year, since there is a vaccine, there is a huge chance that the fans will once again be where they belong, in the stands supporting their favorite players. That, along with night sessions, will be a breath of fresh air to tennis, but, of course, some unexpected things can still happen, and if you want to find out which players have already confirmed that they will participate or don’t know where to find the best odds, for more details visit here.