Not long after the dust had settled after the celebration of Rafael Nadal's eleventh French Open win, Court Philippe Chatrier was about to be changed forever. Preparations for the destruction and rebuilding of much of the stadium (with a roof) are underway already.
Eighty percent of the stadium will be eventually destroyed so the new stands and roof can be unveiled in 2020. Court Simonne Mathieu, set to replace Court One, which is famously known as the Bullring, should also be ready in 2020. Philippe Chatrier’s first night sessions are scheduled to start a year later in 2021.
To commemorate the closing of the media centre, the tournament celebrated with hard hats and a demolition party for the 30-year-old structure attached to Philippe Chatrier.
In a rare opportunity to legally deface the hallowed walls, members of the media were allowed to graffiti the press room to their hearts' content.
Interview Room 1 has changed a bit. pic.twitter.com/VtLhdx6kgR— René Denfeld (@Renestance) June 10, 2018
There were some very funny and memorable contributions with some of the best quotes and off-court moments from the tournament's history, such as Alexander Zverev's friendship with Yorkshire reporter Jonathan Pinfield.
Two other great moments from this year’s tournament were referenced as well: Novak Djokovic’s press conference in the small Interview Room 2 following his quarterfinal loss to Marco Cecchinato, and Sloane Stephens’ comment that members of the media are her “biggest haters.”
When it was all over, the rooms had been totally transformed. The free-flowing artistry closes one chapter in French Open history, and slams the door on an unforgettable 2018 tournament.