Wimbledon on Tuesday trotted out its hopes and dreams for the edition beginning on June 28 while keeping prize money totals a secret.
Officials at the All England Club admitted that much of the planning for the Championships – cancelled in 2020 due to the COVID-19 crisis – remains uncertain.
While giving no firm dates for further trickles of information, club fathers did reveal that play next summer will cover the entire 14 days of the grass Grand Slam.
The decision means the end of the formerly untouchable Middle Sunday, sold to the public for decades as a necessary pause for the delicate grass courts and a welcome relief from crowds for well-off neighbors in the leafy-green surrounds of the club in SW 19.
But tradition will now be tossed out, with play to be continuous, just like at the other three majors.
Club chairman Ian Hewitt credited “improved grass court technology and maintenance over the past five years or so” for the abrupt reversal of policy.
He added: “I’d like to say how excited we are that Wimbledon will be back this summer, with the best tennis players in the world competing on our grass courts, in front of our passionate spectators,” chairman Ian Hewitt said.
“While it will, necessarily, be different from Wimbledon as we know it, we are full of enthusiasm and totally committed to our return following last year’s cancellation.”
Officials were quick to attribute most of the inconveniences and uncertainty to the British government, currently bogged down in party squabbling over several sleaze scandals surrounding PM Boris Johnson.
COVID seems to be fading fast as an issue now that the country’s vaccination rate safely leads the rest of Europe and lockdown is soon to end.
The potential Wimbledon spectator audience for this summer would ideally be 25 per cent capacity,” officials said.
But club bosses said they could make no predictions and would wait until the last possible moment before putting tickets for sale online sometime in the coming month or two.
They also touted long-term plans for developing the golf course they have purchased across Church road with intentions of someday holding qualification rounds onsite.