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No problem: Feliciano Lopez expects exciting French Open

No problem: Feliciano Lopez expects exciting French Open

PA

No problem: Feliciano Lopez expects exciting French Open

Feliciano Lopez does not expect many players to skip the French Open after its controversial move from spring to autumn.

The French Tennis Federation drew sharp rebukes from fellow organisations and players after making the surprise announcement earlier this week without consulting fellow stakeholders.

The tournament is now due to begin only a week after the US Open and clashes with a number of events, including Roger Federer's Laver Cup.

The Laver Cup, a Ryder Cup-style tournament between Europe and the rest of the world that has attracted star-studded fields, responded with a statement saying it would go ahead.

Spaniard Lopez, ranked 56th, 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 (it).

"This change of surface has usually happened to us with Davis Cup, who went from one surface to another in under 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."

Meanwhile, the physical burden of preparing for Tokyo 2020 under global lockdown pales in comparison to its psychological impact, according to former Olympian and sports science expert Greg Whyte.

An increasing number of athletes have expressed their frustration at both their inability to continue training for the Games and at confusion over qualification processes which have largely been postponed.

Whyte, who competed in two Games for Great Britain in modern pentathlon, is a director at the Centre for Health & Human Performance in Harley Street.

He said: "When it comes to physicality in essence for elite athletes it is business as usual, but if you add the backdrop of the uncertainty and worry, it will ultimately impact their physical preparation."

Belfast Telegraph