Looks like Serena & Co. are one step closing to getting new space for all that volleying and forehanding; yesterday, Governor Cuomo approved a $500 million plan permitting the US Tennis Association to expand further into Flushing Meadows-Corona Park. And unsurprisingly, park advocates are not thrilled.

The proposed plan involves tearing down old stadiums and building a 15,000-seat stadium and a smaller 8,000-seat stadium, in addition to two new parking garages; the new stadiums will be used for major tennis events like the US Open. The plan was approved nearly unanimously by the City Council in July after the USTA donated $10 million to Flushing Meadows, though there have been some concerns about the project's encroachment on existing parkland. "It is disgraceful these electeds are willing to sell out the community and give away additional parkland in exchange for money that is supposed to come from the government," Afredo Centola, a member of the Save Flushing Meadows-Corona Park initiative, told A Walk In The Park. "It is their responsibility to fund public parks not private businesses."

And New York City Park Advocates president Geoffrey Croft, a longstanding opponent of the USTA expansion, blasted the project, telling the Daily News, "They can build inside their existing footprint. It is really sad." The project will purportedly remove more than 400 trees from the park and give almost an acre of parkland to the USTA; the organization currently leases 46 acres from the city. But while the proposed plan might be riling critics, keep in mind the important lesson recent history has taught us: no matter how hard you try to keep nature off the the tennis court, it'll still find a way to mess with your game.