China Open waits another year for roof over its head

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BEIJING (Reuters) - Organizers of the China Open will hope the rain stays away from this year's edition of the $6.6 million tournament as Beijing's new stadium court with a retractable roof is not ready.

The 13,000-seater court, built with local government money as part of the Chinese capital's bid to become an international sports city, was originally expected to stage China Open matches in October.

"There is no delay in construction of the structure, just the necessary time to finish off the decoration," official He Huali told Reuters by telephone.

Organizers will instead have to rely on the neighboring 10,000-seater, lotus flower-shaped stadium purpose built for the 2008 Olympics until the new arena is ready in 2011.

The men's $2.1 million China Open runs from October 4-10 while the $4.5 million WTA event starts two days earlier.

(Reporting by Liu Zhen and Nick Mulvenney, editing by Tony Jimenez)