Tennis: Roland Garros to see radical changes
The 2018 French Open will greet fans at the Roland Garros with some radical changes. Unlike the three other Grand Slams, the French Open has still not adopted modern technology. But after facing legal issues for two decades, Roland Garros will be coming to life and mould according to the 21st century. Here is more about this transformation.
Legal battles impacted Roland Garros
As compared to Wimbledon, Australian Open and the US Open, Roland Garros lagged behind in several ways and didn't move ahead with time. While the other three Slams adapted to new technologies, modern stadium infrastructure and retractable roofs, Roland Garros missed out on the same. It was caught up with legal battles and could not thus expand after conceptualizing plans in 2002.
The changes in store for Philippe Chatrier
The Philippe Chatrier will get a retractable roof while the neighbouring Court number 2 will be done away with. As per reports, the roof is expected to be set up in 12 minutes, which will bring the event at par with the other three Slams. Renovation work will begin post this year's event and 80% of the Philippe Chatrier is set to be destroyed.
Farewell to the Bullring for a 5000-seat capacity court
Court number 1 is set to be replaced by Court Simonne Mathieu. Named after France's 2nd most decorated player of all time, it will have a 5,000-seated capacity. The beauty of the court is that it is nestled along the 19th century greenhouses and will likely be ready prior to the 2020 event. There will be three new courts with added seating capacity.
Greenhouse effect conquered by Roland Garros
The prime concern was protection of greenhouses after the event organisers had announced a revamp. The expansion plan was going to spread into the 19th century Serres d'Auteuil. That is where the legal hassles came into picture. The botanical garden, which was built in 1898 with 6,000 square metres of greenhouses, has now been renewed with an addition of 1,300 square metres of greenhouses.
Other vital information for revamped Roland Garros
The event has seen matches being delayed due to rain over the years. But thanks to the proposed retractable roofs, it can now facilitate lucrative night sessions. This, in turn, will make the event more attractive for fans. Meanwhile, the expansion of Roland Garros is set to increase the area from 8.5 hectares to 12.5 hectares.