Players, fans and organisers have expressed disbelief after the French Open's unilateral decision to host the tournament in September, a direct clash with the Laver Cup dates.
The Coronavirus has decimated sport, let alone the tennis calendar, meaning no professional men's tour tennis will be played until at least 7 June.
After the cancellation of Indian Wells, Miami, Monte Carlo and the entire clay court season soon followed after the Covid-19 outbreak left much of Europe shattered in a public health crisis.
Considering what the world is fighting against it comes as even more a surprise that the French Open organisers announced their September dates without consulting the leading players first.
The likes of Stan Wawrinka, Vasek Pospisil, Sorana Cîrstea, Jamie Murray and Naomi Osaka have all spoken out against the French Open's decision.
Talked to ATP's Vasek Pospisil about French Open move— Christopher Clarey (@christophclarey) March 17, 2020
“We're always trying to make it work for everybody, and they just haven’t consulted the ATP, the players or other tournaments. Just a very selfish move. They're basically doing a power play right now, and it’s quite arrogant” https://t.co/QLatyibwap
However, the main opposition has come from both the Laver Cup and the US Open who would be directly affected by the scheduling.
Having been Roger Federer's brainchild since its first edition back in 2017, the Laver Cup has proven a worthy addition to the tennis calendar with it's popular Europe vs World format.
Now Laver Cup sponsors and Federer's entourage are at war with the French Open and it looks like things will get very messy.
Strong Move by French Open/FFT to move to end of Sept. I thought the powers that be in tennis were supposed to be all about working together these days? 🤔— Jamie Murray (@jamie_murray) March 17, 2020
Who will back down?
It is abundantly clear that the French Open organisers did not engage the tennis community upon making this decision because they knew it would be turned down.
So why did they make it then? Simply the economic advantages from sponsors, television networks, fans, drove them to that decision.
But now the clash threatens to upset one of the most popular and loved icons to ever play the game, in Roger Federer.
So now Laver Cup organisers have to decide between potentially cancelling the event in Boston and putting it back later in the calendar, or pressing on as planned.
With so many logistics firmly in place, it is likely the Laver Cup will stick to its 25-27 September dates.
The logistical weaponry at its disposal is huge because the US Open would finish just a week before yet another gruelling Grand Slam. This may well encourage players to forego the French Open and opt to play in the Laver Cup instead.
An update on the 2020 US Open. pic.twitter.com/YfhnsKdvBD— US Open Tennis (@usopen) March 17, 2020
The short transition to clay may also deter players, accompanied with its mass fan base, the Laver Cup may prove the more attractive proposition to fans and players alike.
What will happen with the 2020 tennis calendar?
It is looking increasingly likely that Wimbledon will soon follow suit in postponing and the Tokyo Olympics may not be far behind.
With Italy the highest affected and most concentrated region of Coronavirus cases, and France, Spain and the United Kingdom all experiencing the fallout, no sport looks on the horizon anytime soon.
It may well be that the entire tennis calendar is called off as Grand Slams would often lead to mass crowds, which health experts and the World Health Organisation (WHO) and governments across the world are pleading with sports organisers not to do.
There is the possibility of testing players for the Coronavirus and playing behind closed doors. They would not enjoy the same atmosphere or excitement but it would give some cheer to people's homes to have some form of televised sport.
As the world holds its breathe in the fight against the Coronavirus, behind the scenes the tennis powers that be continue to wage war.