‘ Roof essential’ as French Open suffers washout after 16 years
sports Updated: May 31, 2016 12:52 IST
PARIS: The French Open suffered its first rain washout in 16 years Monday, leaving tournament chiefs venting their frustration at Roland Garros’s isolation as the only Grand Slam without a covered stadium.
There could be more problems on Tuesday with further heavy rain forecast throughout the day in Paris before conditions brighten on Wednesday.
Monday’s washout left the French tennis federation having to refund around 30,000 ticket holders.
It also prompted tournament director Guy Forget, a former player and Davis Cup winner, to warn that France is getting left further behind the sport’s three other majors — Wimbledon, the Australian and US Opens.
All three tournaments have stadiums with roofs.
But Roland Garros will not see a roof built over its showpiece Philippe Chatrier Court until 2020 at the earliest.
“It is very frustrating but it is proof that the roof is a necessity and that we have to do it,” said Forget.
“We cannot be like this for many more years. We hope to have the roof by 2020. The world is moving fast — we were talking about the roof 15 years ago.”
Eight last-16 matches planned for Monday plus two more which had been held over from Sunday will now be played on Tuesday.
Two quarter-finals are also due to take place Tuesday — Andy Murray against Richard Gasquet and defending champion Stan Wawrinka facing Albert Ramos-Vinolas.