PARIS Oct 29 The French Open stadium needs to
be extended to avoid competition from possible new grand slam
events, French Tennis Federation (FFT) president Christian Bimes
said on Monday.
"We need this new stadium," Bimes told a news conference.
"We have all the technical authorisations but we need political
backing. This is a crucial project."
The FFT is working on an ambitious plan to extend the Roland
Garros stadium, on the leafy western edge of the French capital.
The project features a new showcourt with a retractable roof
to deal with capricious skies. French Open organisers hope it
will be completed by 2011.
"Roland Garros will not lose its grand slam status but I'm
convinced that if we don't make progress, there will one day be
a fifth grand slam event in Asia and possibly a sixth in
Europe," Bimes said.
"The losers would be the French Open and Wimbledon. We want
to avoid that at any cost."