The organisers of Wimbledon have announced that they will from 2022 onwards scrap the traditional day of rest around the middle of the tournament. This, say organisers, will make the new 14-day span of the event much more accessible to fans wanting to attend the action.
The scrapping of “middle Sunday” will bring to an end a long-standing Wimbledon tradition, with the usual day of rest only ever having been forfeited for a day of play on four past occasions – in 1991, 1997, 2004, and 2016. All past exceptions were due to rain causing delays on the tournament’s schedule.
The traditional day of rest was initially instituted because of the delicate nature of the grass – a surface that has shown itself to rapidly deteriorate over the fortnight’s worth of action. According to a statement released by All England Lawn Tennis Club chairman Ian Hewitt, advances in technology have now brought about the opportunity for the tournament to evolve past the need for a day off.
Hewitt furthermore explained that the sport is now at a stage in its development where fan attendance should be prioritised. He also added that the removal of the rest day will make attendance much more easily accessible especially over the so-called “middle weekend”.
Wimbledon will in the meantime this year commence on July 28, only a week after current fan attendance restrictions are expected to be lifted. Organisers say the idea and hope is to allow up to 25% of the usual capacity to be filled in terms of fan-attendance.
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