McEnroe, Navratilova to open new Wimbledon roof

Wimbledon (File)
Wimbledon (File)

Cape Town - Wimbledon has confirmed there will be changes for the 2019 edition, including a new roof for Court One, but the introduction of a shot-clock won’t be one of them.

The second show court will boast a new retractable roof for this year's competition, identical to the one that has covered Centre Court since 2009, and will be officially opened on Sunday, May 19 by John McEnroe and Martina Navratilova.

The capacity for Court One has also been increased by around 1 000 seats to 12 245.

Meanwhile, prize money has been increased by 11.8% to £38 million, although the winners of the single’s competitions will "only" see at 4% rise to £2.35 million each.

First round losers get a 15% raise to £45 000.

Wimbledon announced last year that they will introduce a final-set tiebreak for the first time this year, although only if the scores reach 12-12.

Meanwhile, the weather alone will now dictate whether or not the roof remains closed for matches resuming after an overnight break - a change prompted by Rafael Nadal’s spat with Novak Djokovic last year.

The pair's semi-final clash needed to be spread over two days due to the enforced curfew at SW19.

It resumed the next day and, because it started under centre court’s roof, Novak Djokovic was able to insist that it resumed indoors too.

It did not go down well with Nadal, who went on to lose the match.

“You decide if that’s fair or it’s not,” the Spaniard said after the match.

“To gain time we started indoor, and that’s it. I don’t think it’s right, but it’s just my opinion.”

However, from this year there will be no consultation with the players and weather alone will dictate whether or not the rood is open or closed.

The start time for each day’s play has also been brought forward to 11:00.

One change that won't come into effect, however, is the introduction of the controversial shot-clock.

Many other tournaments have adopted it, including the US Open, but Wimbledon have resisted the temptation this year.

However, tournament chief executive Richard Lewis has said that it is “highly likely” it will feature at SW19 from 2020 onward.

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