French Open may have to find new home

PARIS - The French tennis federation (FFT) is considering moving the French Open from Roland Garros if its extension project does not get the green light within a year.

PARIS - The French tennis federation (FFT) is considering moving the French Open 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, tennis federation director-general Gilbert Ysern said yesterday.

"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 this year.

The Paris city council and the French government were set to invest ß20million (R234million) each in the project that is estimated to cost ß120million (R1,4billion).

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

Meanwhile, Germany's Tommy Haas, a Wimbledon semifinalist this year, is recovering from the H1N1 flu virus that forced him to pull out of last month's Stockholm event.

"I did the test because I suspected I had swine flu. The test came out positive and naturally I was shocked," the world No 17 told Bild newspaper yesterday.

Haas said the illness forced him to stay in his hotel room for three days with fever and chills.

"These were three very bad days. I did a test again today and I hope that by now the symptoms are out of my body so I can slowly start training again." - Reuters

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