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Tennis | Roland Garros

Roland Garros work halted again



The French Tennis Federation (FFT) said on Friday they will return to court after the expansion of Roland Garros, the historic but cramped home of the French Open, suffered its latest legal blow.

In the latest setback to the long-running saga involving the 400-million-euro ($448 million) redevelopment of the site in the plush western sector of Paris, the Tribunal de Grande Instance (TGI) on Thursday ordered an interim suspension.

The Paris High Court's ruling came just three days after a different court had given the green light.

Jeremy Botton, CEO of the FFT told AFP they would be returning to the TGI in a bid to have the decision overturned.

"We hope to be heard very soon, early next week," said Botton.

On Monday, the French Conseil d'Etat (Council of State) overturned a March ruling that blocked development of a new 5 000-seat stadium in the Serres d'Auteuil due to protests over the impact the work would have on the botanical garden's historic greenhouses which date back to the 19th century.

It was the heirs of the architect of the greenhouses, Jean-Camille Formige, who successfully sought the latest stoppage to the work with the TGI ruling that the Council of State had breached an earlier legal judgement.

"Our goal is to block the works. If everything is destroyed, our actions have no sense," Philippe Zagury, the lawyer of the Formige descendents, told AFP.

Since Monday, work had already started on some demolition as well as tree-felling at the Serres d'Auteuil.

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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