Roofs aren’t things you think about very often. They do their job largely unnoticed and if they do their job properly you don’t even know they are there. Today I have spent a lot of time thinking about roofs, particularly the one over the four walls of Centre Court.
The first thing that struck me as the journalists were taken for the first time onto Centre Court with the roof closed, was the noise. Aside from a few hushed whispers there was no noise, but it was easy to imagine the rain pelting the fabric roof as 15,000 fans yell, scream and clap themselves into a frenzy.
Somehow Centre Court is bigger yet it feels smaller and more intimate. I think with the roof on, the place will really give fans goose bumps.
My other favourite moment from today’s press launch involved All England Lawn Tennis Club chairman Tim Phillips answering a question about whether Wimbledon will ever be played on a surface other than grass.
“The game is lawn tennis. We have got the inclination, the time and the resources to prepare the grass properly. I think it is extremely important we remember our heritage and support grass,” Phillips said. “Players are complaining about wear and tear on hard courts and there are already a load of tournaments on clay.”