While acknowledging the chaos the global spread of deadly coronavirus has led to, tennis ace Sania Mirza has put a question mark over the decision to push year’s second Grand Slam tournament, French Open, to late September. Also Read - Uber Partners With NHA to Provide Cab Service For COVID-19 Healthcare Workers
French Open was scheduled for get underway from May 24 but with France under lockdown following the coronavirus pandemic, the event has been rescheduled to start from September 20. The decision, announced via social media, came as a surprise to several players who expressed their irritation at not being consulted over the change. Also Read - Don't Panic, This is Delhi Government's WhatsApp Number: Kejriwal on Delhi's Corona Battle
Also, as per the new itinerary, French Open, played on clay court, will start a week after US Open, which is played on hard court and also overlap with the Laver Cup. Also Read - Air India Halts All Bookings Till April 30, But What About Employees' Pay?
“I just think that there’s a lot going (on) in the world right now and everybody has their hands full,” Sania told espn.in. “Sure, the players should have been informed. I did get an email from the federation but I was asleep then. Once I was up, I saw the email and then the tweet and spoke to a couple of players and they were obviously very irritated because they first found out about it on Twitter.”
“I’m not sure how the French Open is going to fit into the schedule. Hopefully, things blow over and we should be able to play the US swing. But I don’t know how we are going to suddenly play a clay tournament one week after the hard court season,” she added.
Sania had flown to US for the now cancelled Indian Wells, taking a 16-hour flight from Dubai before spending three hours on the road to reach the venue alongside her father.
However, an hour after they had reached California, the decision to call off the tournament was announced.
“I’d finished Fed Cup on Saturday and together with my dad we left for Indian Wells soon after. An hour after we reached California on Sunday evening, players got an email saying the tournament was cancelled. So I had travelled 20 hours basically for nothing,” the 33-year-old said.
Sania, who made her professional comeback earlier in January, said she was ‘freaked out’.
“Everybody was in a bit of shock on Monday. No one knew what to do. I freaked out. I was also confused about what was going on. In hindsight, it was the right call. There was just so much uncertainty. Nobody really knew the magnitude of what was happening. Maybe the timing could have been better,” she said.