BREAKING NEWS: Wimbledon’s traditional day of rest on Middle Sunday is set to be scrapped from 2022, bringing it in line with the other three Grand Slams as a 14-day tournament
- Wimbledon will end its tradition by having no rest day in middle of tournament
- It’ll become 14-day Grand Slam from 2022, moving it in line with other majors
- The SW19 grass-court tournament traditionally had a spare day in case of rain
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.
Wimbledon’s traditional rest day on middle Sunday of Grand Slam will be scrapped from 2022
Wimbledon is currently the only Grand Slam that has a day off during the fortnight
SW19 traditionally had a spare day in the middle of the tournament in case of rain, causing a pile-up of matches.
If this was the case matches would be switched to the middle Sunday so that the tournament could catch up but this rest day was only used if only absolutely necessary.
In its 144-year history the middle Sunday has only been used four times – in 1991, 1997, 2004 and 2016 – to play unfinished matches.
The tournament will return this year after it was not held 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 fans will be able to get tickets for an extra day’s play from 2022 with no rest day
Wimbledon are working closely with the Government on the arrangements for this year’s tournament, beginning on June 28.
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 £180million, covering the club’s 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 £36million.