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Italian Open organizers promise a retractable roof over the tennis court by 2026

2023 Italian Open

ROME , ITALY - MAY 18: Daniil Medvedev of Russia competes against Yannick Hanfmann (not seen) of Germany during the men’s single match at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia (Italian Open) at the Foro Italico in Rome, Italy on May 18, 2023. The World Number 3, Daniil Medvedev, defeated Yannick Hanfmann and earned a ticket to the semifinals. (Photo by Claudio Pasquazi/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

ROME - At the conclusion of one of the tournament’s wettest editions, Italian Open organizers have promised to install a retractable roof over the tennis court by 2026.

“The roof is coming,” Vito Cozzoli, the CEO of the Italian government agency Sport e Salute, said. “The feasibility plan has been approved and it will be a futuristic project that will make the Foro Italico’s center court usable year round.”

The semifinal between Daniil Medvedev and Stefanos Tsitsipas was suspended due to rain for a total of nearly 4 ½ hours - which pushed the start of the women’s final back to nearly 11 p.m.

The start of the men’s final featuring Holger Rune against Medvedev was also delayed due to rain.

Eight to 10 months are still required to obtain the necessary building permits for the roof. Then construction would go on for 18-24 months, with breaks taken during the 2024 and 2025 tournaments.

The arena could then also be used for indoor sports like basketball and volleyball, as well as host indoor concerts. Also, 2,000 more seats will be added to Campo Centrale, raising the capacity to 12,500.

After a bidding process that included 33 different proposals, the roof design contract was awarded to the Genoa-based Frigerio Design Group.

This year’s tournament featured expanded 96-player draws for both men and women after the tournament was upgraded and held over two weeks.

The Campo Centrale stadium opened in 2010 and a roof plan has been in the works for years without any concrete progress.