White uniforms, a lawn that is exactly eight millimeters long, strawberries and cream: many things are traditional at Wimbledon, but sometimes the senior men and women of the All England Club break with one.
This happened on Thursday, four days before the start of the oldest tennis tournament in the world. Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic actually entered Center Court.
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What is common at the other three Grand Slam tournaments is attracting attention at Wimbledon. Training before the start of the tournament on the holy lawn in the sanctum of tennis was strictly forbidden. Until now. Nadal played with last year’s finalist Matteo Berrettini, defending champion Djokovic with ex-finalist Marin Cilic.
Tennis stars complained about slippery grass
The reason: Last year, a number of players complained about the slippery grass on the first days of the tournament. Serena Williams even had to give up. “Limited” training before Monday’s start on the two largest courts is intended to dull the courts. In the past, only four selected women from the club were allowed to enter the turf on Saturday before the start for a short game as part of a material test.
Wimbledon Championships 2022
- Date: June 27 – July 10
- Location: London, United Kingdom
- Center Court: 15,000 spectators
- Category: Grand Slam (2022 without ranking)
- Prize money: Approx. 46 million euros in total
- Transmission TV and live stream: Sky, skysport.de & Sky Sport App
Incidentally, the lifted training ban before the 135th edition of the championships is not the only break with tradition this year. For the first time in the history of the tournament, “middle sunday” (July 3) is no longer a day off. So far, the first Sunday of the tournament has been declared a game day four times: in 1991, 1997, 2004 and 2016. This year it is firmly planned and thus equalizes the schedule.