UPDATE: French Tennis Federation 'outraged' following fresh Roland Garros development suspension

The French Tennis Federation (FTF) has described itself as "outraged" after a court suspended the development of a new stadium at Roland Garros just days after the project had been given the green light.

While the French Council of State cancelled suspension of the construction work that had been implemented earlier on in the year, a different court – Tribunal de Grande Instance – has taken an alternative view and ordered a fresh suspension.

A statement on the FTF's website said the organisation held "strong reservations about the validity of the decision", and suggested that there had been a "possible manipulation of the facts".

The reason for the suspension has not yet been revealed.

The governing body has had long-standing ambition to add the new stadium and rebuild the famous Philippe Chatrier Court, but had been challenged by local environmental groups who sought legal action over the threat posed by the development to the nearby Serres d'Auteuil botanical garden.

However, the country’s supreme court ruled in favour of the federation earlier this week, clearing the way for construction on the site to continue.

The FFT welcomed the decision, and pledged to complete construction as soon as possible. It added that it would protect the gardens and to renew them by adding new greenhouses around the court that will present plants from four continents.

Plans for the revamped Philippe Chatrier Court included a retractable roof in order to ensure games can continue in bad weather and after nightfall. After the US open added a roof to its Arthur Ashe stadium, the French Open remains the only major tennis tournament without one.

French architect Marc Mimram designed the new stadium at Porte d'Auteuil, which was earmarked to be built below ground level and surrounded by greenhouses on all four sides.

A completion date for the work was expected in 2020. The renovated Roland Garros complex was proposed to have 18 clay courts spread across the site, with more space for players, spectators, coaches and media partners, and updated infrastructure and entertainment facilities. When in its tournament configuration, the site will occupy over 11 hectares, in contrast to its current 8.6 hectares.

“The FFT is determined to quickly achieve this project of national interest, which will increase the influence of Paris and France,” said the federation in a statement following the termination of the suspension at the start of the week. “The organisation of the 2024 Olympics will be based precisely on such a type of rich infrastructure, and it will be a major asset for the new-look French Open.

“We also point out that, at a time when public money is scarce, we will fund 95 per cent of the renovation of the Roland Garros stadium with the tournament revenue, which generates nearly €300m in economic benefits for the Paris area each year."

Roland Garros  French Open  Paris  France  architecture  tennis  sports design  
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The French Tennis Federation (FTF) has described itself as "outraged" after a court suspended the development of a new stadium at Roland Garros just days after the project had been given the green light. While the French Council of State cancelled suspension of the construction work that had been implemented earlier on in the year, a different court – Tribunal de Grande Instance – has taken an alternative view and
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The Philippe Chatrier Court will be rebuilt with a retractable roof to allow matches to continue in bad weather / Sylvain Weber
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