T365 Recalls: Crowd gets even louder as Wimbledon’s Centre Court roof is used for the first time
Wimbledon’s Centre Court roof was used in a match at the tournament for the first time on this day in 2009.
Rain stopped play during Dinara Safina’s fourth-round women’s singles clash with Amelie Mauresmo and history was made when a Wimbledon match was completed indoors for the first time in 132 years.
Safina was 4-1 up in the second set having lost the first 6-4 when the match was halted and after the action had resumed 10 minutes later, the Russian top seed went on to win 4-6, 6-3, 6-4.
The first serve under the new 3,000-tonne canopy came from 2006 champion Mauresmo at 5.19pm and the first winning shot followed from Safina in the same rally.
After the match, Safina said: “I didn’t have any problems in adjusting and I felt pretty comfortable. I wouldn’t say that the grass was slippy – everything was perfect.
“The crowd gets even louder – you feel them a bit more – so it is very nice to play under the roof. There is not really that much difference otherwise.”
The sold-out centre court crowd then witnessed Andy Murray’s thrilling five-set fourth-round win against Stan Wawrinka in the men’s singles.
Murray’s late-night 2-6, 6-3, 6-3, 5-7, 6-3 victory, the first full Wimbledon match to be completed under the roof, lasted three hours 56 minutes and concluded at 10.38pm – then the tournament’s latest finish.
Construction of Wimbledon’s centre court roof began in 2006 and was completed in April 2009. The cost – estimated at between £80-100million – has never been disclosed by the Lawn Tennis Association.
A retractable roof was installed over number one court in time for the 2019 championships at an estimated cost of £71m.
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