Grounds passes for RG rainout victims

It took until nearly 5 p.m. for Roland Garros to announce Wednesday was officially washed out.

It felt like a foregone conclusion, given the forecast. But if you can squeeze two hours in, you’ve fulfilled your commitment to the ticket holders.

They will be contacted by email for refunds.

If you bought a premium package (where they feed and water you) and you didn’t buy “premium insurance”, you only get the ticket refunded.

On the plus side, fans left waterlogged by the day can not only get their refund, they also can come Thursday and get grounds-pass access.

Philippe Chatrier reno looking good

The French Open, which begins in less than a month, will be so new-and-improved it could be a shock.

In addition to the charming new “greenhouse” court, Simonne-Mathieu, the revamping of venerable Court Philippe-Chatrier looks amazing. There will be a retractable roof for 2020.

Click here for a rapid-fire view of the progress.

If you’re still thinking of tickets, the first four days are already sold out. And the rest of the first week looks … darn expensive because the grounds passes and Simonne-Mathieu tix are gone. 

The “last-minute ticket sale” opens May 7 at 10 a.m., Paris time.

All hands on deck for Roland Garros

Official entry lists for Grand Slams usually start with full rosters.

Everyone wants to play them, and even first-round loser’s money is great.

And so the top 100 men are signed on for Roland Garros, which starts in a little over a month.

With four special rankings (No. 34 Tsonga, No. 85 Kovalik, No. 88 Tipsarevic and No. 95 Stebe), the initial cutoff is exactly 100.

For the women, with 108 spots, the initial cutoff is No. 107. Shelby Rogers is the only protected ranking at No. 81.

But with automatic entry, even players like Ekaterina Makarova (absent since February), are on the list.

French Open Tix on sale March 20

The tickets for the French Open aren’t as tough to get as those for Wimbledon.

But you have to be nimble on the keyboard.

For the general public, they go on sale next Wednesday at 10 a.m. Paris time.

The tournament has a web page with some handy tips (it recommends using an actual computer over a phone or tablet during peak periods).

For opening day (Sunday, May 26), grounds passes go for €32 ($36US). For Court Suzanne-Lenglen and the “new” Court 1 – Court Simonne-Mathieu, they start at €55 ($62) and for the main court. For the revamped Philippe-Chatrier, at €65 ($73).

Philippe-Chartier demolition begins

After a two-month break in the modernization of the French Open site during the tournament, work has begun again.

The demolition of basically 80 per cent of the center court, Court Philippe-Chatrier, began with the removal of some 15,000 green plastic seats  (what are they even doing with them?)

Next year, the seating in the main stadium (and the new No. 1 Court, Simonne-Mathieu) will match the new seating at Court Suzanne Lenglen and be made of chestnut wood.

It should be noted that some players found the new, paler seating rather challenging to adjust to visually.

New look for Roland Garros in ’18

The new, roofed Court Philippe-Chatrier is still a few years away.

But there will be significant changes on the site for this year’s French Open.

The seats on Court Suzanne-Lenglen – all 10,068 of them – are being switched out from the old grey and green to … wood.

Not just any wood, of course. The new seating will be built with Vosges wood by the French company Delagrave. 

Also: a new, sunken court with a capacity of 2,200 will replace old Court 18, which was the court furthest away from the hub of stadium court and had very limited seating.