New retractable roof for Wimbledon to beat rain, bad light blues

April 22nd, 2009 - 2:58 pm ICT by ANI  

London, Apr. 22 (ANI): Unlike last season’s Australian Open, when a match at Melbourne Park was stopped due to bad light, this year’s Wimbledon will not problem of face poor lighting thanks to retractable roof over Centre Court.

The All England Club have said that the retractable roof will allow matches at this summer’s Championships to be played after dark and into the night under the artificial lights.

So if the fifth set of a men’s match goes on to, say, 20-18, then the players could still be out there at 10pm, 11pm or even later.

The Club showcased their new closed roof for the first time, which is an impressive piece of architectural design that has made Centre Court both weatherproof and bad light-proof.

The All England Club maintained that Wimbledon is an “outdoor daytime event”, and yet the roof gives rise to the possibility of occasional indoor night-time tennis.

Although there are no evening matches scheduled at SW19, daytime matches that finish after hours and after dark. Merton Council that there will not be a cut-off point when the tennis must finish each day.

If Britain’s Andy Murray plays late evening sessions under the lights, it would certainly lead to bigger television audiences. Murray could be the main beneficiary of a closed roof, as he both enjoys playing indoors and playing at night.

The roof, which is a folding fabric and concertina design, could be “closed for reasons of light as well as rain”, after which there will be a delay of at least half an hour before play can resume. It will take eight to 10 minutes for the roof to close and another 20-30 minutes for the air-management system to regulate the glass conditions.

On May 17, the air-management system will be properly tested when former champions Andre Agassi and Steffi Graf, along with Henman and Belgium’s Kim Clijsters feature at a test event under the closed roof. (ANI)

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