Paris 2024: at Roland-Garros, the Suzanne-Lenglen court continues its transformation with a view to the Olympic Games

Immense scaffolding, cranes and construction machines, the echo of saws and iron bars… The surroundings of the Suzanne-Lenglen court at Roland-Garros no longer really look like what tennis lovers expect. used to seeing the Porte d’Auteuil every year. On the occasion of the tour of the Olympic sites, the Paris Games Organizing Committee took stock, Monday, September 19, of the progress of the work to modernize the enclosure.

The towers present at the four corners of the court have been planed and the commentator's stand has been lowered to allow the new roof to unfold.  (MAYLICE LAVOREL / FRANCEINFO: SPORTS)

Inaugurated in 1994, the Suzanne-Lenglen court is being restructured with a view to hosting the Games in Paris. The biggest change concerns the addition of a roof, as on the Philippe Chatrier court since 2020. But the cover of the second large court will not resemble that of the Central. “We are creating a flat horizontal architecture that will overhang the current architecture, which we are not touching”, explained Sophie Vessiere, the director of the project. From this “U”-shaped structure will emerge a mobile canvas that can fold and unfold above the enclosure. A tribute to Suzanne-Lenglen’s pleated skirt.

“We have the ambition to shelter the court and the spectators from the rain, but also to keep an outdoor court”she added. “It can always be beaten by the gusts of wind, or suffer the effects of the cold”confirmed the president of the French Tennis Federation (FFT) Gilles Moretton.

The metal frame that will support the future roof is already visible against the stands of the Suzanne-Lenglen court.  (MAYLICE LAVOREL / FRANCEINFO SPORTS)

Started in July 2021, the construction site continues and is interrupted by the rhythm of the Porte d’Auteuil competitions. The first phase, which concerned the creation of the foundations to support the new structure, has been completed. The second phase is still in progress, with the creation of the framework, a huge assembly of metal bar modules. The structure will be finished before the start of the 2023 Internationals, which will once again mark the interruption of the construction site. The canvas will be the last element installed, in July 2023. And the case will be ready for future deadlines.

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