PARIS — Heavy rain forced the two remaining quarterfinals in both the men’s and women’s singles at the French Open to be postponed Wednesday.
The four affected matches, including those involving women’s defending champion Simona Halep and men’s world No. 1 Novak Djokovic, will now be played Thursday.
The delay means the women’s semifinals will now be played along with the men’s semifinals on Friday, if weather permits. Tournament director Guy Forget said those four matches will likely be played over three courts to ensure fairness to all players.
The men’s semifinals would be played as scheduled on Court Philippe Chatrier, while the women’s semifinals would be split between the next two biggest courts — Court Suzanne Lenglen and Court Simonne Mathieu.
“We try to be fair to everyone,” Forget told reporters Wednesday. “We are thinking about this option. And also why not have them play on a third court? We know that Simonne Mathieu is a court that is very successful if things were to come to worse.”
The forecast for Paris is good for Thursday — sunshine and temperatures of around 68 degrees — but there is more rain in the forecast for Friday. That could also put the weekend schedule — the women’s final on Saturday and the men’s final on Sunday — at risk.
In the women’s quarterfinals, Halep, the No. 3 seed, will face American teenager Amanda Anisimova, while eighth-seeded Ash Barty meets 14th-seeded Madison Keys.
“The ideal thing would be for both players [in the women’s semifinals] to have the same recovery time,” Forget said. “And the best way to get this result is for them to play their matches at the same time. If there is a rain interruption, then they are interrupted at the same time. In this way, there will be no player finishing the match 24 hours before the other. We know that there will be difficult climate conditions, and we want to avoid any additional problem.”
No. 26 Johanna Konta of Britain already advanced to the semifinals, where she will meet unseeded 19-year-old Marketa Vondrousova of the Czech Republic.
In the men’s draw, Djokovic, the top seed, will carry a 25-match Grand Slam winning streak into his meeting with No. 5 Alexander Zverev, and 2018 French Open finalist Dominic Thiem will face No. 10 Karen Khachanov.
Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer already advanced to the semifinals with wins Tuesday, and Forget said it was almost certain that match would be the first played on Friday. That would allow the players who come through from the other half of the draw more time to recover after Thursday’s matches.
Forget said he was still hoping for good weather, but he said a Monday final — as happened in 2012 when Nadal and Djokovic were held over — was possible.
“We saw that historically we can play men’s finals on Monday,” Forget said. “We remember the final between Djokovic and Nadal. We can think of the same thing for women in terms of disaster scenario.
“Now, to date, we have good hope for [Thursday]. The matches for tomorrow are quite important. Then the meteorologists will give their forecast for Friday, and we will decide on Friday’s program, which will be extremely difficult to organize in view of what I just said. But now all doors are open, and we can adapt.”
Play was wiped out by rain at the French Open for one day in 2016. Prior to that, it hadn’t happened since 2000.
Roland Garros is the only Grand Slam site without a covered court; a retractable roof is expected to be added to the main stadium before next year’s tournament.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.