Roof a re-sound-ing success, say players

The new Centre Court Roof

The new Centre Court Roof

On a day which can only be described as a huge success for the All England Club, the new Centre Court roof received a huge vote of confidence from Tim Henman, Kim Clijsters, Andre Agassi and Steffi Graf after their exhibition matches.

“So far as the playing conditions are concerned there was no real effect,” Henman said. “Maybe the ball goes through the air a very little bit quicker because it’s warmer, but the difference was so small. I have only good positive things to say.

“The light was excellent. There was so much natural light coming through. That said, we were on the Centre Court a couple of weeks ago at 9pm testing the lights then – how they shone in different areas and so on. The light was fantastic. Even at those times, it will not be an issue.”

What all four agreed upon, and were particularly struck by, was the sound. Agassi called it “magnificent” and the others could not fault it.

“I loved that,” said Clijsters. “It has always felt on the Centre court as if the old roof brought the sound of the crowd down on to the court, but now with the new roof it feels as if the crowd is right there next to you on the court.”

Henman went so far as to say that the roof might create an even better Centre Court crowd atmosphere than before.

“That’s saying something when this is already the best and most famous court in the world, but I’m intrigued to see what level the atmosphere might go to,” mused Henman. “Given the right scenarios with the right match and players, it could be really something.”

Agassi and Graf agreed, with the former speaking for both of them when he said: “I was a little worried the roof being closed would create a level of moisture and make the court slippery but I was really impressed with how solid it felt. It means you’ll be able to push yourself more on your shots, because you can be certain of how the court will play. I loved it.”


  1. Shirley Keane
    Posted 18 May, 2009 at 9:08 am | Permalink

    Will there be chance to view the BBC programme again? It’s not available on their iPlayer service which is very annoying!

    • sheila oakes
      Posted 18 May, 2009 at 1:42 pm | Permalink

      Yes please – we missed all but the last half hour of the programme and would very much like to see the whole lot. Please let the BBC know the viewers want to see it again!!
      Many thanks.

  2. Louise
    Posted 18 May, 2009 at 3:59 pm | Permalink

    I agree unfortunately I missed the last part of the programme. I would love to see this all the way through.

  3. Carol
    Posted 18 May, 2009 at 5:22 pm | Permalink

    Yes..we live in ireland..and BBC northern ireland didnt show it due to GAA football was so disappointing!! Please., please please show it again even if its late at night!!

  4. Shirley Keane
    Posted 19 May, 2009 at 7:57 am | Permalink

    I’ve just seen that BBC iPlayer now says this programme is “Coming soon”…if you have this facility, keep an eye out for it….

  5. Kathy Pritchard
    Posted 19 May, 2009 at 9:07 am | Permalink

    As I was going to be away for the weekend I set my DVD to record the programme. I was very disappointed to find that the last part of the programme had been switched to interactive. Can this programme be shown again in it’s entirety for those tennis fans who missed it?

  6. Patricia A Arrowsmith
    Posted 29 May, 2009 at 4:01 pm | Permalink

    Will you bring a dvd out of the full programme, I like many other set video to record because we were away and annoyinglit was switch to interactive.
    A dvd would be a lovely keepsake

  7. Fleur
    Posted 1 June, 2009 at 3:05 pm | Permalink

    Eventhough the professional players don’t have any complaints about the new roof I disagree with the whole idea. I think tennis has to be kept as natural as possible, with all the influences of rain and bad weather. You can call me old fashioned, but that’s just the way I feel about it.

  8. Posted 3 June, 2009 at 2:16 pm | Permalink

    So many games have been canceled in the past due to poor weather conditions and rain. I guess the new roof ensures the game goes on no matter rain or sun.

  9. Michael McBride
    Posted 27 June, 2009 at 1:53 pm | Permalink

    Does anyone know exactly how ‘hawkeye’ works?
    Especially on court ‘2’


  10. Posted 15 October, 2009 at 3:21 pm | Permalink

    Andy Murray wasn’t so enthusiastic about condition under the new roof when he played. he complained about the level of humidity and oace of the ball.

  11. Posted 11 January, 2011 at 2:16 pm | Permalink

    wow!they made it great.even if the roof is new over Wimbledon’s Centre Court.that was really great.i really want to watch that on TV over and over again,the game is really fun.thanks for sharing this.

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