Coronavirus: Majority will play French Open despite re-scheduling, says Feliciano Lopez
World No 56 Lopez is also the tournament director of the Madrid Open, which was called off because of coronavirus
Last Updated: 20/03/20 4:30pm
Feliciano Lopez believes only "a few" players will elect to skip French Open following its rescheduling to September due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The move by the French Tennis Federation to postpone the clay-court Grand Slam, originally set to begin on May 24, drew criticism from fellow organisations and players for failing to consult before taking the surprise decision.
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The French Open is now set to begin just under a week after the US Open - played on hard court - ends with the men's final on September 13 and will clash with a number of events, including the Laver Cup.
The organisers of the Ryder Cup-style event between Europe and the rest of the world, which was co-created by Roger Federer, said they were surprised by the move but that it would go ahead as planned from September 25-27 in Boston.
Speaking to Spanish publication AS, Lopez said: "It is an emergency situation. If it finally turns out that way, I imagine that tennis players will want to play and few people will skip [the French Open].
"This change of surface has usually happened to us with Davis Cup, who went from one surface to another in less than five days.
"Even at Wimbledon, because now there are three weeks away from Roland Garros, but before it was two and you went from clay to grass."
The 38-year-old, who won singles and doubles alongside Andy Murray at Queen's Club last year, is also the tournament director of the Madrid Open, which was one of the events cancelled because of coronavirus.
Explaining why there was no opportunity of postponing the event, the world No 56 said: "Unfortunately we have no margin to play.
"People in the organisation are sad, although the situation was not very hopeful seeing the latest events.
"It is a hard blow, but we are already looking at the 2021 edition."