Wimbledon to scrap their traditional Sunday day of rest from 2022

Tournament to return this year with limited capacity for fans after it was cancelled in 2020 because of the pandemic

 Spectators watch the action on the big screen from ‘Henman Hill’ at Wimbledon. A minimum capacity of 25 per cent is currently being planned for with the hope that this can increase, with tickets expected to go on sale in June. Photograph:   Alex Livesey/Getty Images

Spectators watch the action on the big screen from ‘Henman Hill’ at Wimbledon. A minimum capacity of 25 per cent is currently being planned for with the hope that this can increase, with tickets expected to go on sale in June. Photograph: Alex Livesey/Getty Images

 

Wimbledon’s traditional day of rest on the middle Sunday of the tournament will be scrapped from 2022, the All England Club has announced.

Wimbledon is currently the only Grand Slam that has a day off during the fortnight but this provides scheduling challenges, particularly when there is bad weather in the first week.

At the tournament’s spring press briefing, chairman Ian Hewitt said developments in the care of grass courts meant 14 days of play was now deemed possible.

The change means fourth-round matches, which have all been played on a packed day known as ‘manic Monday’, will be held across two days.

The tournament will return this year after it was cancelled in 2020 because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Hewitt said: “We plan to deliver the best championships possible in accordance with public safety. It will necessarily be different from Wimbledon as we know it.”

Wimbledon are working closely with the British government on the arrangements for this year’s tournament, beginning on June 28th, and a lot will depend on guidance at the time.

A minimum capacity of 25 per cent is currently being planned for with the hope that this can increase, with tickets expected to go on sale in June.

Hewitt revealed that Wimbledon’s foresight in taking out pandemic insurance paid off to the tune of just over £180 million, covering losses from the cancelled 2020 event.

That enabled the AELTC to give the Lawn Tennis Association, which receives the annual surplus from the championships, a pay-out of around £36 million.

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