October 03, 2016

PARIS (AP) The planned renovation of Roland Garros, the home of the French Open, can finally begin after France's highest administrative jurisdiction gave its go-ahead to the project.

The Conseil d'Etat said in a statement on Monday that it had overturned a court decision that had put the whole project on hold.

Environmental groups opposing the extension claimed the construction of a new 5,000-seat court in the Serres d'Auteuil botanical garden would harm the vegetation. The botanical garden's 19th century greenhouses, a few hundred meters (yards) from center court, host a large variety of tropical and local flowers.

As part of the refurbishment work, the French tennis federation is planning to build a roof over center court by 2020,

Roland Garros is the smallest of the four Grand Slam venues. Plans call for an extension of the site from 21 acres (8.5 hectares) to about 34 acres (13.5 hectares).

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