Paris - 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, with a total estimated budget of €360 million.
"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.