Wednesday, June 27

The roof is out there

Naturally our preferred view would be a big blue sky but the £80m retractable Centre Court roof, built in 2009, is back in use today. Last year 41 matches on outside courts were lost in a single day due to the rain. As well as protection from the unpredictable English weather the roof has allowed matches to carry on when bad light would previously have stopped play. In 2010 the Djokovic v Rochus match didn't end until 10.59pm, around 90 minutes later than play would have ended without the roof. Play is always suspended at 11pm regardless of the conditions.

The roof can be closed in under 10 minutes although it takes about half an hour for the air management system to remove condensation and ensure the surface conditions are ideal for tennis.  A roof for Court One has been discussed but it has not been confirmed even as a long-term plan. Perhaps Sir Cliff needs to get tickets for matches played here just in case he's needed for impromptu entertainment in the future!

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