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By Chris Oddo | @TheFanChild | Thursday April 25, 2024

One of the grand dames of tennis has a new look. Court Suzanne-Lenglen, the No.2 showcourt at Roland-Garros, named after the iconic, brandy-sipping eight-time Grand Slam champion whose bronze statue anchors the east side of the stadium, will put a new retractable roof into play on Day 1 of this year’s French Open on May 26.

“The lightweight retractable cover, made of canvas and inspired by the pleated skirt created by Jean Patou for Suzanne Lenglen, can be closed in 15 minutes,” the tournament said on its website.

Additionally, qualifying matches will take place on Court Suzanne-Lenglen for the first time this year, with the tournament eager to elevate the status of qualifying and thus turning the only clay court Grand Slam into a three-week fete. Qualifying begins on Monday, May 20, but the roof will not be used for those matches.

"It will allow us to keep playing if the weather is bad and welcome 25,000 people,” said Amélie Mauresmo during the tournament’s pre-tournament press conference on Thursday. "We will host two games instead of one which will give us a little bit more flexibility in our schedule.”