Belfast Telegraph

UK Website Of The Year

Home News UK

Wimbledon to see play on middle Sunday as rain wreaks havoc with scheduling

Published 01/07/2016

Dan Evans during his match against Alexandr Dolgopolov
Dan Evans during his match against Alexandr Dolgopolov

Wimbledon will see play on its middle Sunday for the first time since 2004 after persistent rain wreaked havoc with the scheduling.

It will only be the fourth time in the tournament's 139-year history, and the first time since the introduction of the roof on Centre Court, that matches will have been played on what is traditionally a rest day.

In another break from tradition, all tickets will be sold in advance, with none available on the day.

Wimbledon announced on Twitter: "There will be play on Middle Sunday. Details announced 1pm tomorrow.

"All tickets to be purchased in advance online, none available on day."

Tournament organisers said tickets for Sunday would be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis, with a limit of two per household.

The wet weather has also resulted in the tournament seeing its lowest attendance since 2007.

Over the first four days of the 2016 Championships 155,845 people walked through the gates, compared with 172, 551 last year.

In 2007, attendance fell to 148,986 over the same time period.

Asked why there were fewer people at SW19, a spokesman for the All England Club said: "It's absolutely the weather. It's worth noting that capacity has been reached every day in terms of sales."

Heavy rainfall on Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday caused a major backlog of matches. The decision was made to start play at 11am instead of 11.30am on Friday but showers meant that little tennis was played anywhere other than on Centre Court.

In an attempt to reduce the backlog the men's first and second round doubles matches were made the best of three sets rather than five.

Dan Evans's Wimbledon dream came to an end after he was defeated in straight sets by Roger Federer.

The crowd was on his side as he battled against the Swiss, taking eight games from him.

He left the court to a standing ovation and said in a post-match conference that he would be back on a big court again.

Evan's loss leaves Andy Murray as the last remaining Briton in the tournament, after Tara Moore was knocked out by Russian Svetlana Kuznetsova in a close three-set match.

Read More

From Belfast Telegraph