Wimbledon: Breaching 11pm curfew was ‘a very simple decision’
Wimbledon chief executive Richard Lewis yesterday explained that Andy Murray’s match against Marcos Baghdatis was allowed to continue because a conclusion was in sight.
Victory was tied up by Murray at 11.02pm on Saturday, exceeding the previous record of 10.58pm set by Novak Djokovic and Olivier Rochus two years ago. The official curfew is 11pm, which is the time the final game began.
However, Lewis explained: “The fact is planning permission for the roof and the air management system was granted on the basis of an 11 o’clock finish. So once you get to 11 o’clock, it becomes a tennis decision and it was quite obvious last night that Andy Murray...was to be given a service game at 11 o’clock to give the player a chance to finish the match, so it was a very simple decision.”
While there is a small degree of flexibility and common sense, Lewis also emphasised the safety aspects of all the spectators dispersing and that local residents also have to be taken into consideration. He agreed there is “merit in the idea” of a midnight finish but was loathe to compare Wimbledon with the US and Australian Opens, held in New York and Melbourne respectively.
“In New York everyone travels by car so it is a different situation, the Australian Open is played almost at the heart of the city centre so people can disperse very easily,” Lewis added. “Wimbledon has its unique situation. We make that tennis decision at 11 o’clock in the best interests of the match.”
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Wednesday 19 June 2013
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