Tennis

D-day for Roland Garros

2011-02-12 06:55
Roland Garros (file)

Paris - French tennis confronts an historic moment on Sunday when a decision is taken on whether or not to abandon Roland Garros, the historic home of the French Open.

Roland Garros, built in 1928, is bursting at the seams and three alternative sites have been proposed so that the country's claycourt Grand Slam tournament can grow and expand.

Those sites are at Versailles, at Gonesse, to the north of Paris, and at Marne-la-Vallee, a stone's throw from Disneyland.

In total, 195 people will vote on the plans, with a straw-poll by AFP indicating that a redevelopment of the current site in the city's plush 16th arrondissement would be the preferred option.

"This will be the most important decision in the history of French tennis," one voter told AFP.

"But no doubt it will be some years before we know if it was the right decision."

The problem facing the French tennis authorities is one of space - at 8.5 hectares, Roland Garros is less than half the size of Wimbledon, which boasts 18.5 hectares of prime south-west London grass.

But the plan to renovate the existing premises received a boost in November after a special commission made up of elected officials, architects and historians gave it the thumbs-up.

The project proposed jointly by the French tennis federation (FFT) and the Mayor of Paris would involve expanding Roland Garros to create a new 5 000-seater court.

Anne Hidalgo, assistant to Paris mayor Bertrand Delanoe, spoke of "the enthusiastic support from the Paris Mayor's office for this major project for Paris".

Those against the idea have expressed disquiet at the loss of precious conservation areas surrounding the venue.

If no one contender emerges with a majority on Sunday, then the vote will go down to a tie-break between the two finalists that could last for several months.

According to a count by AFP, 30 of 43 voters said they would back the plans to redevelop the current site, with six each preferring Versailles and Marne-la-Vallee with just one leaning towards Gonesse.

Read more on:    french open  |  roland garros  |  tennis
NEXT ON SPORT24X

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
Live Video Streaming
  • SS3
    Fri, 01 Aug 2014 @
    04:00
  • SS4
    Fri, 01 Aug 2014 @
    05:00
  • SS5
    Fri, 01 Aug 2014 @
    05:59
  • SS7
    Fri, 01 Aug 2014 @
    06:00
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

 
 
Featured Blog

Dave ask if you would like to meet your local sports heroes and stand the chance to win prizes to the value of over R40 000.

Latest blogs
Vote

Which is your favourite Grand Slam of the year?

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Newsletters Sign up for the Morning Glory, Super 15 and Soccer newsletters

Blogs Yes your opinion counts. Get it out there

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

Mobile Sport24 on your mobile phone - WAP, alerts, downloads, services

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

iPhone Latest Sport24 news on your iPhone

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

TV schedule Plan your couch time with our searchable sport TV guide

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.