Chapter 03

03

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The new partner village :
Elegance and modernity
More spacious and opening out onto the courts, the new Roland Garros village provides the best conditions for both work and hospitality. A successful first step in the new Roland Garros project.
Did you know that Roland Garros is the sporting event that invented the partner village ? The French Tennis Federation is proud of developing this public relations apparatus, which has since been adopted by sports as wide-ranging as rugby, football and Formula 1 racing. Even today, Roland Garros is still the only Grand Slam tournament that has such an infrastructure.

Being able to invite their employees, clients, potential clients or family under preferential conditions is of particular importance to the partners, and the French Tennis Federation ceaselessly displays its willingness to provide them with the infrastructure necessary to provide a welcome worthy of the level of excellence and elegance expected at Roland Garros.

Created in the 1980s under the leadership of Patrice Clerc, the Tournament Director at the time, the partner village at Roland Garros was located until recently in the southwest part of the complex between Court 1 and Boulevard d’Auteuil, with the pavilions rented by the partners situated on either side of a long teak terrace. This elegant setting benefited from a certain charm while providing the sensation of being away from all the excitement of the tournament.
Eager to offer its partners more spacious, modern and permanent structures, the Federation has made the new village's construction one of the main priorities of the New Roland Garros project. Digging was started in October 2015 by the workers of Vinci Construction. During the heaviest construction phase, more than 400 workers were mobilised. The building was finally completed in February after 24 months of work and two pauses to conduct the tournament smoothly.

Ideally located on the site of the old National Training Centre, the village has become a structural element of the stadium, halfway between the Philippe-Chatrier and Suzanne-Lenglen courts, which guests can now access quickly. Its three sub-levels accommodate the 400 umpires, 250 ball boys and girls and 120 court maintenance personnel mobilised for the tournament.

The area intended for the partners is all above ground. Organised around an elegant wood-covered patio, a marvel of modern architecture, the new glass and stainless-steel village retains the charm of its predecessor while remaining solidly anchored in the purest Roland Garros tradition of elegance and prestige.
A total of 17 public relations areas dividing up two floors overlook the central courtyard and the three majestic pines that are planted there. The partners will now be able to benefit from modern equipment, an exclusive kitchen, wine cellar, offices and access to a meeting room. Above all, they’ll be able to adapt these permanent structures to their own tastes since they've been allocated to them exclusively for several years.

The village, which was previously some distance from the centre of the complex, now finds itself at the heart of the stadium, where its wall partitions can be opened up onto the courts while maintaining a tranquil atmosphere. These partitions are actually part of a splendid glass curtain wall 50 metres long and eight metres high that offers a privileged view of Courts 7 and 9, which have also been modernised. Partners and their guests will now be able to watch the matches from the patio or terraces.


From the lobby to the private areas, the volume of all the spaces has been increased. "The total surface area has been increased by 50 %. The spaces allotted to the partners have gone from 75 m2 to 100 m2," explains Gilles Jourdan, Director of the Roland Garros modernisation project. All these luxurious facilities perpetuate the tournament's tradition of excellence.

The old village still exists, but it now accommodates private dining areas assembled in one place called Le Hameau, and it houses various facilities previously located in the areas of the stadium made unavailable by the work. It won't completely disappear until 2020. In the meantime, Court Simonne-Mathieu, partially built into the Serres d’Auteuil garden, will become operational for the 2019 edition. The Place des Mousquetaires will be converted into a vast green esplanade, and Court Philippe-Chatrier will be entirely rebuilt and fitted with a retractable roof. In any case, the quality and beauty of the new partner village can only augur well for the rest of the facilities yet to be built and for the future of the tournament itself.
Bernard Giudicelli
President of the French Tennis Federation (FFT)
Presentation
"I’m a hands-on, connected president who hasn’t lost touch with the rank and file, the clubs where I can test the water. Inspiration will come from the tennis courts. Our communication will encourage the sharing of experiences. I feel like I’m on the Sea of Galilee every time I scout out the leagues: the fishing is miraculous! Ideas, initiatives and innovation flourish, and the energy of the club managers contrasts with the doom and gloom that has prevailed over the years. You must go to the source! More than ever, I’m available 24/7 for our Federation and our sport."
Assessment of his first year
"From the very first day following my election as head of the Federation, I’ve asserted that the conquest of major titles such as Grand Slam trophies, the Davis Cup, the Fed Cup and the Olympics is an absolute priority. Since the French team’s last Davis Cup victory in 2001, we had failed three times, and each time the opposing team had a player in the top ten. There’s nothing else, or almost nothing else, to say about this incredible 2017 campaign and final during which each participant won a point, up to the decisive point won by our youngest player, Lucas Pouille. Ninety years after the first victory of the Four Musketeers, the trophy is thus back in Paris. From now on, winning the Davis Cup (and the Fed Cup) several times is no longer a dream or even an ambition. It’s our objective and fervent obligation to have people talk positively about French tennis, to encourage everyone to visit our clubs, and to develop and maintain the link that makes this sport, one among many others, so special to us, so central to our lives. We’ve switched to "Act and Win" mode, which comes from the name of the sports programme our general assembly from last February decided to adopt for the latest Olympic Games. We’ve now made this programme our own and must implement it with the Executive Committee and elected league and Departmental Committee authorities in order to achieve the objectives we’ve set."
Projects
"We’re going to launch five major projects. The first is to continue the work to modernise Roland Garros Stadium. They’re making great progress and will complete the second phase this year. The new Roland Garros will become a key future Olympic site. The second major project is to simplify the day-to-day administrative affairs of the Federation. We’ll also experience the shock of simplifying, which has already begun with the reduction of the administrative constraints and rules which weigh heavy on clubs. We must reach a new stage in our communities-based approach and the support provided to them. The third major challenge of 2018 deals with communication and the launch at the end of the year of our 100% tennis TV channel, which is intended to transmit and share tennis culture and present the best practices and numerous experiences that go in to enriching our community efforts.

"As I've mentioned previously, this communications challenge will also entail a digital transformation in order to reach all tennis fans and focus their attention on our clubs. The fourth challenge pertains to sports, of course, and revolves around developing our best young talents close to their own homes and gradually getting them accustomed to travelling throughout Europe and the rest of the world, all while cultivating a winning mentality tournament after tournament until we’ve created a generation hungry for victories and trophies. The fifth challenge is to ensure a place for our Federation within the community of nations. My actions within the FFT and as Chairman of the Davis Cup Committee have enabled us to continue taking care of the essentials, but there are many challenges we must face and it’s important that the voice of France continue to be heard."
Ambition
"Our success is intimately linked to our desire to win trophies and provide everyone with the possibility of playing tennis, whether between friends, as a family or at work, or in relation to wheelchair or adaptive tennis, beach tennis or our most recent addition, which we’re putting a lot of hope into developing: padel. We will also have to innovate in terms of social diversity so that everyone can exercise their right to dream, then innovate even further by developing e-tennis, a natural extension of on-court play, and end by creating an innovative international Francophone network dedicated to the development of clay-court tennis play."
Summary
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