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Tennis: New boost for Roland Garros expansion

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PARIS: The long-running saga over the expansion of Roland Garros, the historic but cramped home of the French Open, received a new boost on Tuesday after the Paris High Court confirmed work could go ahead.

The Tribunal de Grande Instance (TGI) ruled that work on a 5,000-seater stadium in the historic Serres d’Auteuil in no way impacted on historic greenhouses by architect Jean-Camille Formige dating back to the 19th century.

The court set a date of November 3 for a final examination of the dossier.

“For the second time in a week, the court noted the facts and the project and rejected the application of the descendants of Formige,” French Tennis Federation (FFT) lawyer Julien Guinot-Delery told AFP.

Formige’s heirs have been fighting to stop work on the 400-million-euro ($448 million) redevelopment in the plush western sector of Paris.

The FFT plans to demolish certain greenhouses which it judges to be without architectural value immediately beside the historic greenhouses.

Opponents of the project believe this would modify the entire architecture of the site.

The TGI, however, found the “request to suspend unfounded” and that “the French Tennis Federation project in no way affected (the greenhouses) listed as historic monuments”.

Part of the redevelopment of Roland Garros will also see a roof built on the central Court Philippe Chatrier but that is not expected to be finished before 2020.

The sport’s other three Grand Slam events — Wimbledon and the US and Australian Opens — all have covered stadiums.

 

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