No.1 COURT RAIN OR SHINE AT WIMBLEDON

Rain or Shine at The All England Lawn Tennis Club as the AELTC has now two courts able to host play under cover, using a retractable roof, meaning that more than half of all spectators who arrive at The Championships will be guaranteed a full day’s play.  

Many great matches have been decided on No.1 Court with Rafael Nadal, Caroline Wozniacki, Novak Djokovic, all Necker Cup former guests. Last year, Roger Federer’s loss to Kevin Anderson,13-11 in the fifth, was a thriller for fans and a nightmare for Federer.  “That was a horror scenario for me, as Wimbledon is every year my main goal. Back then even my family had problems to cheer me up. I just went in my room, lay on the bed & thought: this is tough.” 

Kevin Anderson also had some saying on playing on No. 1 Court, “There is a lot of silly politics involved….who is to be playing here? I heard that Federer was upset (for playing on court No. 1). It was kind of interesting. Those guys are, more often than not, playing on the same court match after match.”

But the good news is that Centre Court and No.1 Court can now stage matches during rain and bad light. It is possible to play until 11pm, which is a curfew set by the local authority, but there are no plans to introduce evening sessions. The intention is to complete every day’s program in natural daylight, unless there is a backlog caused by bad weather or if matches are overrun, and all “to be arranged” matches on the daily schedule completed, where possible, under the roof. 

Here are a few shots of Premier Live Co-founder, Remington Reynolds outside of No.1 Court at Wimbledon 2019:

Not only fans and players are looking forward to the new No.1 Court but also, Richard Lewis, Chief Executive AELTC, who shared his thoughts this weekend at Wimbledon.  “I’m more excited than you could probably imagine. Because to be honest, from an operational point of view, both having a roof on No.1 Court, but having a roof on Centre Court was very challenging, because there was always pressure to play unfinished matches, because of weather or bad lightning whatever, and move them from No.1. Court to Centre Court. And that’s very difficult to do in a safe manner.”

The installation of a retractable roof over No.1 Court has been the most visible addition to Wimbledon landscape. The structure covers 80,000 square feet and is supported by 11 steel trusses each weighing over 100 tonnes. The redevelopment also included increasing the capacity by around a thousand seats.  It also includes two additional rows of seating that have been added at the top of the stadium, while all spectators will benefit from new and wider seats. About half of the hospitality suite holders who used to be housed in temporary structures at the southern end of the Grounds will enjoy much-improved facilities in No. 1 Court. All 15 of the stadium’s refurbished and new suites have balconies with vistas ranging from the London skyline to an overview of the tennis. Outside, the two-level Walled Garden public plaza, on the site of what was Court 19, offers a striking spot to while away the hours, and so expectators on The Hill, having first experienced the benefits of a larger permanent screen last year, can now enjoy a striking new “living wall” of plants on either side of it.

The 40 projects completed since last year’s Championship include the building of an additional story on the Museum building, refurbishment of the men’s and ladies’ dressing rooms and the establishment of the Southern Village, a new public area which features The Tennis Shop, a new Tennis Fan Experience, food and drink outlets and a sustainability activation space. The project was completed on time and within budget. It increased the Grounds’ capacity this summer by 42,000, partly as a result of the increase in the number of No.1 Court seats to 12,345, compared with 14, 979 in Centre Court.

MISS SUNSHINE

Busy summer for Caroline Wozniacki, 28, as she wed former NBA player, David Lee, 36 in Italy in an intimate wedding ceremony in front of family and friends, and was back in London for Wimbledon. 

“I’m not stressed at all!” tennis star Caroline Wozniacki exclaims, all smiles, the night before her wedding. “Maybe it’s because David [Lee] and I are both decisive when it comes to stressful situations—and there’s no losing here!”

Caroline, is a former world No. 1, ranked 14th at the moment and has won 30 WTA singles titles, including the 2018 Australian Open title. As a junior, Caroline won the girls single title in 2006. In 2018, she entered the Championships seeded 2, losing early, in the second round. She has reached the 4th round at Wimbledon six times in her career.  

A few months ago, Caroline shared that she received a diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis, and autoimmune disease that can cause joint pain and stiffness and problems with mobility.  Her 2019 season has not been easy so far, losing in the first round of Roland Garros to a player ranked 68th in the world. Her 2019 record was 9-8 after Paris.

Here are a few of our favorite photos of Caroline from the 2018 Manuka Doctor Necker Cup presented by Metal:

“Caroline and I really believe that we are the sum of who we are surrounded by,”  David said during his speech on their wedding: “The dedication you have to tennis, your daily routine, everything you do to be the champion that you are, it’s the most amazing thing I’ve ever seen. Even above that is the class and the principles that you live by, and that means more than any match you could ever win, any tournament you could ever win, and it’s for that reason that young girls look up to you, the whole world looks up to you for what you do and what you stand for, and why I look up to you so much. As a man you’ve made me a better person. I love you with all of my heart and promise to treat you like the most special woman now and forever.”

Want to know more about the wedding festivities? Click Here

WIMBLEDON CHAIRMAN’S SPECIAL GUEST

Rod Laver is a Wimbledon chairman’s guest this year, celebrating 50 years since winning in 1969 (gentlemen’s Singles Champion 1961, 1962, 1968 and 1969). 2019 also marks the 50th anniversary of Rod achieving his  second calendar Grand Slam, when he won all four majors, in a calendar year, twice. 

In January, The Australian Open, started the celebration for this great achievement, a record no other tennis player has equaled, and one that most of us might not witness again in our lifetime. In December, Laver will be rounding out the year at the Necker Cup after spending a few days on the Dream@Sea Voyage with Legends from St. Thomas to BVI onboard the SeaDream Yacht.

“Few sports have a longer or richer history than tennis and no player occupies a bigger part of that history than Rod Laver,” Roger Federer said in the foreword of Laver’s autobiography. 

“From my earliest tennis memories,” adds Federer, “Rod ‘the Rocket’ Laver stood above all others as the greatest champion our sport has ever known. Winning all four majors in the same calendar year to complete the Grand Slam, on two separate occasions no less, is one of the greatest feats a player can accomplish. In 1962, Rod became only the second man to do this. Seven years later, Rod conquered the game’s Everest again to become the first player – man or woman – to have won the Grand Slam for a second time. No male player has completed the Grand Slam since.”

As Rafael Nadal wins his 12th Roland Garros trophy, for a total of 18 Grand Slam titles, only two titles away from Roger Federer’s 20th,  it ignited again the conversation of who is the best player of all times. As Nadal, Federer and Djokovic, who holds 15 Grand Slam titles, are all active players and their legacies are not set yet, one name has already made history, Rod Laver, “The Rocket.” In a New York Times interview, Laver was asked about his career and how many majors he might have won, He answered with a laugh, “I don’t figure those things out.” 

50 years ago Wimbledon was part of my 1969 Grand Slam. The celebrations this year have reignited so many wonderful memories, shared with friends and fans worldwide.

– Rod Laver

During a 23-year career that spanned the amateur, pro, and Open eras, Laver was ranked eleven times in the World Top 10 between 1959 and 1975, reaching No. 1 four times (1961-62, 1968-69).and won a record 200 tournaments. At Wimbledon, Laver won the men’s singles four times (1961-62, 1968-69, the mixed doubles twice (1959-60), and the men’s doubles once (1971).

“It’s just as well Rod’s achievement are now well documented, as you would never hear about them from the man himself. Rod Laver represents a generation of players who sacrificed so much to change the sport, and create the pathway that our professional players have today,” said Craig Tiley, CEO of the Australian Open during the tournament back in January. 

In 1989, tennis journalist Bud Collins wrote in his novel My Life With the Pros, that. “I remain unconvinced that there was ever a better player than Rod Laver.”

And we all agree about that.  Read more on Laver

Contributing Author: Lucia Hoffman

Lucia is a multimedia sports journalist and digital strategist who covers the ATP and WTA tennis Tour worldwide. She is a contributor to Inside Tennis Magazine, and she is one of the most followed tennis journalists on Twitter, @luciahoff, with 57k followers worldwide. She holds a Masters in Journalism, in Digital Media, from Columbia University Journalism School in NYC. She lives in NYC with her husband and two children.