French Open: Bad weather puts off women’s semi-finals

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The 2019 French Open women’s semi-finals will not be held on centre court but on the two other show-courts after bad weather hit the tournament on Thursday in Paris.

Tournament organisers said in a rare move Thursday that number eight seed Ash Barty would play teenage sensation Amada Anisimova on the 10,000-seat Court Suzanne Lenglen at 11 am (0900 GMT).

The second match between number 26 seed Johanna Konta and teenager Marketa Vondrousova will take place at the same time on the new Simonne Mathieu court which seats 5,000.

Centre court (15,000) will a little later in the day see the two men’s semi-finals just as originally planned.

This includes a 39th meeting between 11-time champion Rafael Nadal and 20-time Grand Slam winner Roger Federer starting at 12.50 am (1050 GMT).

The decision came after rain allowed no play at all on Wednesday, leading to the postponement of the four remaining quarter-finals.

They were being played on the Philippe Chatrier centre court and Lenglen.

“Roland Garros tournament organisers have decided to give as many fans as possible the opportunity to attend the women’s singles semi-finals, which will both be played on show courts,” a statement said.

Under the original schedule, both women’s semi-finals were scheduled for Thursday on centre court from 2 pm (1200 GMT).

“Obviously we would love to play on Chatrier. For me, personally, I’m excited to be in a semi-final. It doesn’t really matter which court I play on. I’m in a semi-final,” Barty said.

“All four of us will be ready and prepared and go out there and enjoy it.”

Tournament director Guy Forget had already hinted that the women may be moved to the smaller courts to make sure they can complete their matches Friday.

He said it would also enable them get some rest ahead of Saturday’s final.

“If I was a lady playing in that stage today, I would rather play on a smaller court knowing that I will have enough time to rest, at least the same time as my opponent the following day, because the final is what I’m playing for,” Forget said.

“I’m not playing just to win the semi-final. I’m playing to win the tournament.”

However, the weather forecast for Friday is not good, with showers and gale-force winds expected.

Forget said the tournament may end on Monday if the worse comes to worst.