A frustrated Guy Forget, the French Open tournament director, urged the media to put pressure on officials in France to approve proposed expansion plans at Roland Garros that include a centre court roof.
All matches were cancelled on Monday in Paris due to torrential rain wiping out an entire day of French Open play for the first time in 16 years.
Unlike the three other grand slams, Roland Garros does not have a retractable roof on at least one court. The Australian Open has three, the US Open will have one on Arthur Ashe stadium this summer and one on Louis Armstrong stadium in 2018, while Wimbledon has one on Centre Court and will be constructing one for Court 1 by 2019.
Initial plans to have a court constructed on Court Philippe Chatrier in Paris by 2018 were pushed back to 2020, with the extension projects currently held up by legal action from local residents and environmental activists.
The need for a roof at Roland Garros has become glaringly evident this year with rain disrupting play on most days so far this tournament, while organisers were forced to cancel all matches yesterday as early as 13:40 due to non-stop showers.
The forecast for Tuesday is not much better and more rain is expected throughout the week.
Earlier in the week, Forget had said that works on the new roof already started two years ago and that he was “quite confident” it will be ready by 2020. But yesterday he reiterated his grievance over having to play catch-up with the other majors in terms of facilities.
“I’m coming in front of you tonight just to express my frustration,” Forget told reporters on Monday.
“Once again, I think having a roof is a necessity…