The All England club is reportedly planning a roof over the Court 1 showcase as part of a “Wimbledon 2020″ redevelopment plan which would keep the elite grass event in the top tier of Grand Slams facilities along with the Australian Open.
The facilities race at the four majors is turning into a two-speed affair, with Wimbledon and Melbourne sprinting ahead of the US and French Opens, neither of whom have viable plans on the table for improvements at this time.
London’s Daily Mail reported that plans for the second roof could be unveiled in April around the time of the annual prize money announcement. The paper says that since No. 1 was designed to someday take a roof, the project will not be an complex as the mounting of a roof on Centre court completed in 2009 which has transformed the most regal of the four Slams.
With two roofs in place, Wimbledon can guarantee matches for 27,000 spectators no matter the fickle British weather. The report says that the cost of the second retractable roof will come in at less than the estimated $200 million-plus that it cost to cover Centre court.
The Australian Open has two roofs with a third on the way while Paris plans for one have been knocked back by authorities in a legal dispute. The US Open lags the rest, with no plans for anything yet in place at an event whose men’s final has been postponed five times in the past five years due to rain and no roof over an ageing show court.
The Australian Open men's singles quarterfinal lineup is a blockbuster one, with seven of the top eight seeds still alive and the only impostor a local Aussie who has positively ignited the Melbourne crowd. The stretch run begins on Tuesday, with Rafael Nadal going up against familiar foe Tomas Berdych and Andy Murray hoping to stop the freight train that is Nick Kyrgios.
This Global chick won’t lie, we really thought it was time for the Martina Navratilova-powered Agnieszka Radwanska to shine. Her time to make another assault on a Slam final had been and gone, and come back again.
Australian opinion is divided about Nick Kyrgios as the 19 year-old prepares to face former Wimbledon and US Open champion Andy Murray in a bid to become the first home semi-finalists at the year-opening Grand Slam since Lleyton Hewitt ten years ago.
The ITF announced today that it has renewed its sponsorship agreement with NEC Corporation as title sponsor of the NEC Wheelchair Tennis Masters and as an Official Partner of the UNIQLO Wheelchair Tennis Tour through 2017.