Slam stays open-air despite roof epic
“Andymonium” reigned supreme at Wimbledon as fans of newly crowned “King of The Night” Andy Murray threatened to blow the new roof off Centre Court. But Wimbledon officials were quick to stress after Murray's epic night marathon that the world's most famous tennis tournament would always be a daytime, open-air event.sports Updated: Jul 01, 2009 00:02 IST
“Andymonium” reigned supreme at Wimbledon as fans of newly crowned “King of The Night” Andy Murray threatened to blow the new roof off Centre Court.
But Wimbledon officials were quick on Tuesday to stress after Murray's epic night marathon that the world's most famous tennis tournament would always be a daytime, open-air event.
Players at Wimbledon will not be following the US and Australian Opens with matches played deep into the night.
Anyone who watched the first late night match in the cathedral of tennis will never forget the deafening roar on Monday evening.
The British third seed got a standing ovation from 15,000 screaming fans who leapt to their feet whenever he struck a winner in his titanic five-set victory over Swiss Stanislas Wawrinka.
Forget the British stiff upper lip. Reserve was abandoned. Fans punched the air, cheering till they were hoarse. Union Jack flags were frenetically waved.
“At the end, that was probably the noisest crowd I played in front of,” Murray said.
But he was not complaining. “Support is great. If it's loud, then it's better.” Wimbledon spokesman Johnny Perkins, reflecting on Murray's gladiatorial fourth-round battle with Wawrinka, said: “The only danger to the roof was that it could have been blown off by the crowds.”
London's transport system was suddenly confronted late at night with thousands of spectators pouring onto the streets in search of a bus or a train.
“This is not the start of regular night shifts. This is not the U.S. or the Australian Open. We are conscious we are in a residential area. We need to think of our neighbours,” he said.
Murray thought Wimbledon should stay a daytime tournament and not adopt regular night-time sessions.
“You can't really do it. I don't think for the outside courts and stuff. They can't play because of the dew and they don't have floodlights. I like it being a day event.”
Once the euphoria of novelty had died down, Wimbledon spokesman Perkins agreed: “It was an historic occasion but as with all historic occasions, it is best if they don't happen too often.”