French Open to be moved?

2009-11-03 16:05

Paris - The French Tennis Federation (FFT) is considering moving the French Open away from Roland Garros if its extension project does not get the green light within a year.

The project was agreed on earlier this year and an architect was appointed but the Paris City Council is now getting cold feet, FFT director general Gilbert Ysern said on Tuesday.

"It seems that the mayor's entourage has become more hostile to our project -- which was not the case when we launched it," Ysern told reporters.

"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 used at Roland Garros for the French Open by 2013 or 2014.

Of the four grand slam events, the Australian Open has two courts with a roof, while Wimbledon's Centre Court unveiled its new translucent retractable roof earlier this year.

Paris City Council and the French government were set to invest 20 million euros ($29.26 million) each in the project which is estimated to cost 120 million euros.

Officials at Paris City Council could not be immediately reached for comment.