Officials say French Open could move

11/3/2009 - Tennis

PARIS -- The French tennis federation is considering moving the French Open from Roland Garros if
an expansion 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 said. "Add to that the residents' opposition and we are now forced
to look for other options, including that of leaving the

Last May, tennis officials said a new center 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, and Wimbledon's Centre Court unveiled its
new translucent retractable roof this year.

The Paris city council and the French government each was set to
invest $29.26 million in the project, which is estimated to cost $177 million.

Officials of the Paris city council could not be immediately
reached for comment.

Information from Reuters was used in this report.