PARIS — French Open organizers do not rule out extending the tournament to Monday after rain led to a washout of Wednesday’s matches and adverse weather is also forecast for the next few days.
Further rain is forecast for Friday, which could also see gale-force winds, and tournament director Guy Forget told reporters they would also be ready to make use of all three show-courts, if necessary, to complete the tournament on time.
“We saw that historically we can play the men’s final on Monday. We remember the final between Djokovic and Nadal,” Forget said in reference to the 2012 final, which was completed on a Monday.
“We can think of the same thing for women in terms of a disaster scenario.”
“We have good hope for tomorrow. Tomorrow’s matches are very important. Then the meteorologists will give their forecast for Friday, and then we will decide on Friday’s program, which will be extremely difficult to organize.”
Organizers face tough decisions after the second half of the men’s and women’s quarterfinals was washed out Wednesday, the first day with no main draws played at Roland Garros since the second Monday in 2016.
Under the revised program for Thursday, the matches will be held in the same order as planned Wednesday, but starting two hours earlier because doubles also have to fit in.
Title holder Simona Halep against teenager Amanda Anisimova and Rock Island's Madison Keys versus Ashleigh Barty are to complete the women’s quarters on Philippe Chatrier center court and court Suzanne Lenglen.
They are followed by the men’s matches world No. 1 Djokovic versus Alexander Zverev and last year’s runner-up Dominic Thiem against Karen Khachanov.
Organizers will then hope on Friday to play the women’s semifinals originally scheduled for Thursday, along with the men’s semis — with the most anticipated match between 20-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer against 11-time Paris winner Rafael Nadal to be first in order to give the other semifinalists more time to recuperate from their planned Thursday match, according to Forget.
The women’s final is then traditionally played Saturday and the men’s decider Sunday. But Forget suggested that the women’s final could be moved for fairness reasons.
“That’s not what we want to do. But some girls might be playing three days in a row. Most of these girls have been waiting all their lives to play such a big match, and to be playing a match of that magnitude with two matches in their legs is a difficult task,” he said.
“We try to be fair to everyone,” he added, saying that players should be prepared to play not on the 15,000-seat center court bur rather on Suzanne Lenglen (almost 10,000) or even Simonne Mathieu (5,000) ahead of the final in order to get additional rest.
Federer and Nadal won their quarters on Tuesday, when play was interrupted by a thunderstorm for one hour in the first delay of the 2019 tournament, along with Johanna Konta and teenager Marketa Vondrousova who meet in one women’s semis.
The French Open is the only Grand Slam that has no stadium with a roof. Centre court has been rebuilt for this year’s edition and organizers have said a retractable roof would be ready for next year’s tournament.
But reports now say that the roof won’t be available until 2021, and there are also said to be plans to cover the second show court, Suzanne Lenglen, looking ahead at the 2024 Olympics in Paris.
Wimbledon and the U.S. Open have two courts each with a roof, and the Australian Open three.