Misc Tennis

AELTC Confident of Completing Wimbledon on Time

AELTC Confident of Completing Wimbledon on Time

By Richard Pagliaro | @TennisNow | Monday July 8, 2024
Photo credit: Rob Newell/CameraSport

WimbledonUmbrellas and cover crews have been most valuable players during a rainy Championships.

Persistent precipitation has disrupted the Wimbledon schedule, but officicials are confident rain won’t prevent completion of The Championships.

All England Lawn Tennis Club CEO Sally Bolton said today while rain delays have created schedule challenges, the retractable roofs over both Centre Court and No. 1 Court—combined with contingency plans in place—will ensure its completion.

“Scheduling with the rain has been uniquely challenging,” Bolton told about 10 journalists in a Q&A this morning. “The weather has been so variable and so bad at times.

“From a bigger picture perspective—we now have an extra day so we’ve got a 14-day Championships. We’ve got two roofs so in terms of the resilience to get through The Championships, we’re confident we can still do that. 

“We’ve got a range of contingencies. Obviously putting roofs over two show courts, that’s definitely helped us. Having the extra day has given us that extra flexibility. As we announced yesterday in the mixed doubles, we’re taking the first two rounds down to two sets and a tiebreak. So we’ve got various ways in which we can look at contingencies for trying to manage our way through it.”

Could the grass-court Grand Slam play some matches on indoor hard courts if daily rain continues?

Bolton, who succeeded Richard Lewis as CEO after the 2020 Championships, said resorting to playing indoor hard courts would be “a last resort” used only if all other options were exhausted.

“Going indoors would be one of those options, but that really would be a last resort,” Bolton said. “I think the real challenge for everybody is the variability of the weather. I’m very proud of the teams we’ve got working on the grounds. Trying to keep up the joy and excitement of fans coming to The Championships when it’s on and off raining is so difficult.

“And the teams on the grounds have been working so hard to try to keep our guest experience going…I think the group that probably deserves the most credit are the court coverers, they’ve definitely earned their corn this year.

“They’ve been absolutely outstanding. they’ve worked very very hard so I just want to take an opportunity to say thank you. We need to try to give everyone who comes here the best experience we can.”


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