Planning row threatens to relocate French Open
Wednesday 04 November 2009
The French tennis federation (FFT) is considering whether to move the French Open from its Roland Garros home if an extension project at the venue does not get the go-ahead within a year.
The extension was agreed earlier this year and an architect was appointed but Paris City Council is now having second thoughts, FFT director general Gilbert Ysern said yesterday. "It seems that the mayor's entourage has become more hostile to our project – which was not the case when we launched it," Ysern said.
"Add to that the residents' opposition and we are now forced to look for other options, including that of leaving the premises."
Last May, tennis officials said a new centre court equipped with a retractable roof would be in use at Roland Garros for the French Open by 2013 or 2014.
Of the four Grand Slam events, the Australian Open has two courts with roofs, while Wimbledon's Centre Court unveiled its translucent retractable roof this year. Paris City Council and the French government were set to invest €20m (£18m) each in the project which is estimated to cost €120m. Officials at Paris city council could not be reached for comment.
Meanwhile, German player Tommy Haas has had to pull out of the Davidoff Swiss Indoors tournament in Basel after contracting swine flu. The 31-year-old consulted his doctor when he suffered flu-like symptoms, and he was diagnosed with the highly contagious H1N1 strain.
"I did a test because I suspected I had the swine flu and the test was positive," he said. "It was obviously a shock for me.
"[But] I am quite relaxed. I know that swine flu is a particularly strong form of flu, but when you are in a good physical condition like I am, then you can quickly overcome it."
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