Completion of new Roland Garros delayed to 2017

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The French Tennis Federation said the renovation of the Roland Garros complex will be delayed by a year and completed only in 2017.

The federation has delayed the complex's expansion into an area that currently hosts a gymnasium for local schoolchildren, and which is due for demolition. Originally, there would have been a gap between the demolition work and the building of new gym facilities by Paris city authorities.

''Some parents were worried that their kids had no place to do sport for a year because works were scheduled to start before the completion of the new (gym facilities),'' FFT general manager Gilbert Ysern told French daily Le Figaro. ''Therefore we decided to delay them, which makes us lose a year on our schedule.''

The current site will expand from 8.6 to 14.1 hectares.

Roland Garros is the smallest of the four Grand Slam venues, which also include the Australian Open at Melbourne, the U.S. Open at Flushing Meadows in New York, and London's traditional grass-court event at Wimbledon.

Fans and players have regularly complained about the congestion at the French Open because of its narrow walkways and the limited size of the complex.

The new-look Roland Garros will feature 35 clay courts, including a center court with a retractable roof so that matches can continue when it's raining, and where night sessions could be played.

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