Wimbledon to reign in the rain
Uninterrupted tennis in London this year.
A new retractable roof has been unveiled over Wimbledon’s No. 1 court ahead of this year’s competition.
The new roof cost £70million and is identical to the one that has covered Centre Court since 2009. It was constructed by British company Sir Robert McAlpine over three years.
A test event will be held on May 19 with the roof to be used officially for the first time. Wimbledon winners John McEnroe, Martina Navratilova, Lleyton Hewitt and Goran Ivanisevic will all compete in exhibition matches.
Officials hope this will mean an end to rain delays at Wimbledon, with action on both main courts able to continue no matter the fickle British weather.
Extra seating has also been installed, with capacity increasing to 12,345.
Existing seating has also been replaced. New padded and wider designs have now been installed.
“It is the culmination of around 5 years of hard work, with two years of design and planning and three years of construction,” Philip Brook, chairman of the All England Club, said.
“It has been a challenging and very complex piece of engineering to deliver.”
Wimbledon now joins the Australian Open and US Open in having two roofed courts. Melbourne has three and the French Open will open their first next year.
Improvements will continue at the All England Club after a deal last year to take over the 73-acre Wimbledon Park Golf Club for £65million.
New stadia will be added and capacity will be increased to 40,000.
Written by Peter Rowe for Grandslamtennis.online. To read more visit grandslamtennis.online