CULTURE Roland Garros renovation entering 'money time' before French Open


Roland Garros renovation entering 'money time' before French Open


03:20, February 22, 2019


The new Court Philippe Chatrier is expected to be ready for the 2019 French Open.(Photo: AFP)

The renovation of Roland Garros is entering its "money time" ahead of the start of the French Open in May, the head of the work at the venue said on Thursday.

The rebuilding of Court Philippe Chatrier started after the tournament last year and is due to be completed in April, with the addition of a retractable roof expected for 2020.

This year's French Open will run from May 26 until June 9, with Rafael Nadal and Simona Halep as defending champions.

"As we say in sport, we are in the 'money time'," said Gilles Jourdan, the head of Roland Garros' modernisation operations. "We have a little less than three months until it has to be delivered on April 15.

"We're not there yet, there's still three months of work, so we're not worried, but we're very, very focused."

The new 'greenhouse' court will be ready in time for the tournament, with the final renovations to finish in 2021.

Jourdan said that between 800 and 900 workers had been working "day and night" on the site.

The expected cost of the new Philippe Chatrier is 150 million euros ($170 million), with a total estimated budget of 360 million euros.

"There is no real surprise... we knew that anyway it would be tense at this time, it is a complicated and difficult phase, as it will be also next year," added Jourdan.

Tournament organisers are hoping the new Chatrier roof next year will allow them to start hosting night sessions similar to those at the Australian and US Opens.

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