Roland Garros may start on Sunday in the future.

06-05-2005, 05:36 PM
Some one also just posted this in the Roland Garros tournament thread, but it's so important for people who are planning to attend next year, that I thought I would post the article in GM.

Updated: June 5, 2005, 11:30 AM ET
Roland Garros eyes Sunday start in 2006


PARIS -- French Open organizers will do all they can to ensure next year's clay-court Grand Slam begins one day earlier, on a Sunday.

The move would allow them to benefit from higher television audiences and boost attendances by scheduling an extra weekend day.

"We are favorable to a Sunday start and we will do whatever we can so that our tournament will be able to start on a Sunday next year," French Tennis Federation (FFT) director general Jean Claude Blanc said on Sunday.

The Australian and French Opens, Wimbledon and the U.S. Open traditionally start on a Monday and last 14 days.

Wimbledon schedules play for only 13 days, factoring in a rest day on the middle Sunday.

"We consider it as something positive for tennis," Blanc said.

"When you see the audience on Monday, the first day of the tournament, is 1.2 million and goes to two million. If we start on a Sunday, we will have five million television viewers. This answers all our questions."

Blanc said discussions would continue at Wimbledon later this month with the organizers of women's and men's tennis, the WTA and the ATP.

"I believe instead of having two weeks and two Sundays, having instead two weeks and three Sundays would be great. We are not adding a complete weekend," Blanc said.

FFT president Christian Bimes said that while not all the four Grand Slams were in favor of a Sunday start, they were all keen to work together on the project.

"The four presidents found an agreement, which is remarkable," Bimes said.

"At the end of the [Grand Slam] committee [meeting], I said that Wimbledon, which is not interested in a Sunday start, wanted to be associated with the other three tournaments in this operation that we wished, and which is going forward.

"We are finishing our discussions about that with the ATP and the WTA. These discussions will come to an end during the summer. The French Open will be the first one starting on a Sunday in 2006."

06-05-2005, 05:38 PM
Thanks Devotee. I heard rumours about it when I was at RG last week, and it has also been published today by the BBC. I think it's a great idea .

06-05-2005, 05:39 PM

I expect the USTA is pissed they didnt' think of that marketing strategem first. :lol:

06-05-2005, 07:23 PM
That would suit me better! Hope it happens.

06-05-2005, 07:43 PM
It would be great for me!!! ;)

06-05-2005, 08:00 PM
RG traditionally starts off with big names on opening day. What if they are playing a final on the Sunday?
Instead of shortening the tennis season, they are now trying to add to it. Stupid.
Why don't they just do away with weekday play and play on weekends, then? The TV audiences would be great.

06-05-2005, 09:35 PM
that article states the the FO thought of it first :p

great idea :cool:

buddyholly: the tournaments before a GS end on Saturday

06-12-2005, 04:32 AM
I expect the USTA is pissed they didnt' think of that marketing strategem first. :lol:,0,5676780.column?coll=sfla-sports-colThere's a strong chance that the French Open will go to 15 days next year, beginning on Sunday. Why? TV, of course. They get five million views on Sundays and only 1.2 million on Mondays. This is a spin-off of the concept first introduced by the USTA's Arlen Kantarian two years ago. He wanted 15 days with the men's final on a Monday night, but there was no viable way around Monday Night Football. So the U.S. Open also is studying a Sunday start with its TV partners. ...

06-12-2005, 04:57 AM
No complaints here. :)

06-12-2005, 05:09 AM
who and what would be played on sunday?

3 days of round1, or would they get an extra day off later in the tourney?