Wimbledon to break tradition and allow practice on Centre and Court No. 1
In a decision that has surprised many, the All England Lawn Tennis Club (AELTC) has decided to allow players to practice on Centre Court and Court 1 for the first time in Wimbledon's 145-year long history.
The decision was made to protect players from injuries after quite a few had injured themselves due to slippery conditions at the Championships last year. The other three Grand Slam tournaments — the Australian Open, Roland Garros, and the US Open — have always allowed the players to play on their main courts before the main event. Wimbledon, on the other hand, could not do so in order to protect the surface from deteriorating before the second week.
Fans in large numbers slammed the organizers when seven-time Wimbledon winner Serena Williams injured herself in the opening round in 2021. At 3-3 in the first set against Belarusian Aliaksandra Sasnovich, Williams was forced to retire and limped off the court in tears.
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During one of the matches, even a ballboy fell down and had to leave the court on a stretcher. At the time, the organizers defended themselves, saying there was no difference in the preparations from previous editions. Some of the players who have lost their footing and complained about the wet surface include Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic, Nick Kyrgios, Adrian Mannarino, and Coco Gauff.