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Wimbledon In The 21st Century

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Heading into the 21st Century, Wimbledon was one of the premier tennis tournaments in the world being one of the four annual Grand Slam competitions and a career highlight for any player that was able to win. In order to keep this prestige and improve the tournament even further, Wimbledon’s governing All English Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club set into motion a plan to modernise the grounds while still holding true to the tournament’s traditions.

The biggest innovation for Wimbledon in this century came in 2009, where for the first time a retractable roof and artificial lighting were used on Centre Court. Whereas most other major tennis tournaments already used these devices to ensure play could continue in any condition, Wimbledon had previously shunned them. However, this often led to the tournament running over its allotted two week period due to rain delays, and often tense high profile matches being interrupted due to bad light.

The first time that the roof and lighting on Centre Court were used came during a match between Andy Murray and Stanislas Wawrinka, where a sell out crowd was able to see play continue until 10:48pm, a new record.

Along with improving the facilities at the high profile Centre Court and Court One buildings, the All English Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club have also expanded seating at a number of the lower profile courts and constructed the Millennium Building, a high tech central hub for players, umpires, officials and the press.