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Rediff News  All News  » Sports » Factbox: Wimbledon's Centre Court roof

Factbox: Wimbledon's Centre Court roof

April 22, 2009 14:52 IST

Factbox on the new Centre Court roof at Wimbledon which will be operational for the first time at this year's championships:


* Plans for a new roof were unveiled in 2004. The old roof was demolished in 2007, meaning there was no cover on Centre Court at that year's championships.

* Architectural designers Populous, formerly known as HOK Sport, were also involved with Wembley Stadium, the O2 World Arena in Berlin and the new Yankee Stadium.


* The roof is made of a lightweight, flexible fabric called Tenara that can fold up on huge trusses.

* It takes 10 minutes for the roof to close.

* The roof is 16 metres above the court surface, so only the highest lobs are in danger of hitting it.

* The air management system removes condensation from within the bowl and stops the grass sweating. Play can resume 30 minutes after the roof is closed.

* The new roof can be used safely in wind speeds of 69 kph.

* The fabric is 40 percent translucent but the roof will feature 120 lights so that play can continue after dark.

* There are 10 trusses holding up the roof, each one wider than a football pitch, sliding along parallel tracks.

* The new-look Centre Court has 15,000 seats, an increase of 1,200, all wider than the previous ones, and padded.

* No complete days have been lost to rain at Wimbledon since 2004, when two days were a washout.


* Matches interrupted by bad light late in the day will be able to finish once the roof is closed and the lights switched on, meaning night tennis at Wimbledon is likely this year.

* "I think we've all got a feeling of quiet confidence. If it gets to 22-22 in the final set it could go a bit pear-shaped," said All England Club chairman Tim Phillips about finishing matches under lights.

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