That dry high | india | Hindustan Times
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That dry high

The world’s most pampered grass surface has borne witness to the frustration of proud ticket holders, as well as been the slippery Waterloo of many a champion over the years.

india Updated: Apr 22, 2009 22:13 IST

No longer will champions fear the gathering clouds which played spoilsport in last year’s men’s final. But it’s possible that Rafa’s towering lob might lose its way and land smack dab in the middle of the royal stands, as Fedex waits patiently on the other side. Or plop into your precious strawberries and cream. For, after years of putting up with weather tantrums, Wimbledon’s prized Centre Court has gone under cover.

The world’s most pampered grass surface has borne witness to the frustration of proud ticket holders, as well as been the slippery Waterloo of many a champion over the years. The Brits sure can’t forget the washout suffered by their man Tim Henman in a 2001 semi-final against Goran Ivanisevic that lasted three rain-filled days. Well, no longer can they blame the rain in vain. Three years and over a million quid later, the 3,000 tonne, retractable roof made of translucent water-proof fabric could see matches outlasting the elusive English sunshine. Given that it takes about ten minutes to cover up, and another 20-30 minutes for air regulation to kick in, perhaps the next thing those wizards at Wimbledon need to work their magic on is an early warning system to beat the moody British weather.

Soggy strawberries, and drenched spectators have been as much a part of this Grand Slam as the game’s greats, giving fans many cliffhangers as well as a crooning Cliff Richard. Does this mean goodbye to all that? Well, the roof covers only the green, so don’t pack away that umbrella yet. As they say: no rain, no gain.