Ninety years ago, the original Roland Garros site was created for tennis’ most nationalistic purpose: hosting a Davis Cup tie. Starting in 2019, the new site will focus on fostering a global community, based on France’s most famous tennis export, red clay. By 2020, much of the visibly-aging concrete will be gone, replaced with shiny glass. The new roof will allow the tournament to join its fellow Slams in the 21st century and banish rain delays.
Most important, the language of clay—its elegant slides, heavy topspin, punishing rallies, artful drop shots, mix of the physical and the graceful—will still be spoken where it has always been spoken most fluently: in Paris.