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Last Updated: Sunday, 6 June, 2004, 14:08 GMT 15:08 UK
Roland Garros set for roof
Centre Court at Roland Garros
Roland Garros' Centre Court is vulnerable to rain delays
The French Open is poised to follow the Australian Open by building a new stadium with a retractable roof to protect against rain delays.

While the 2004 tournament escaped major rain disruptions, tournament officials have decided to act.

"I think it would be a mistake not to cover ourselves - in every meaning of the word," said French Tennis Federation president Christian Bimes.

"I consider this to be a top priority for us."

Bimes added: "It's been 25 years that we haven't had a catastrophic day with rain the whole day.

"If it happens once, we will understand how important a stadium with a retractable roof will be.

"President Chirac says he wants the stadium to extend and I believe it's reasonable."

The new 16,000-seater stadium, expected to cost 112m euros (73m), has had two sites earmarked in the nearby Bois de Boulogne.

The move to build the new stadium will still go ahead even if Paris fails in its bid to stage the 2012 Olympics. Part of the city's bid involves a revamped tennis stadium.

The All England Club at Wimbledon decided earlier this year to build a retractable roof which will be in place by 2009.




SEE ALSO
Wimbledon's roof plans in pictures
06 Jan 04  |  Photo Galleries
Wimbledon's roof: The lowdown
06 Jan 04  |  Tennis
The Wimbledon roof debate
19 Dec 03  |  Tennis



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