The last week of May would, in most years, mean the start of Roland Garros. The coronavirus pandemic, however, has forced the organizers to push back the tournament until September.

This is the first major that the virus has forced the postponement of, and the stars of the WTA Tour have felt a particular pinch at missing their fortnight in Paris.

Sloane Stephens, finalist in 2018, is just one of many lamenting the absence of the French Open from this part of the calendar.

The recently retired Maria Sharapova has paid a unique tribute to France by eating one of the country’s famous delicacies.

For the French players, missing their home Grand Slam has been particularly hard.

“This week was reserved for Roland Garros,” Caroline Garcia tweeted. “For sliding on the most beautiful clay courts, to be tense, to share and exchange with the French fans, to experience the ‘Olas’, to push myself to my limits and to experience incredible emotions.”

Mary Pierce is the last home winner in Paris and this year celebrates the 20th anniversary of her success, which she recalls vividly.

But Pierce is not the only one reminiscing about great moments she has experienced on the clay.

There are signs of positivity that play might be able to start in the weeks ahead, with courts increasingly opening up around the world.

WTA World No.1 Ashleigh Barty is among those back hitting, with the French Open champion taking to the dirt to strike some balls.

Garbiñe Muguruza, meanwhile, is looking mean in the gym.

Kristie Ahn and Elina Svitolina have both been active on TikTok, with the Ukrainian star joking that she is unprepared for life without tennis.

And finally, Naomi Osaka has a very different problem.

Tennis United Episode 7