Tennis fans have shared their frustrations about Wimbledon’s poor scheduling, aggravated due incessant rain delay.
Day 3 of the 2023 Wimbledon Championships is underway on Wednesday, July 5. There are a total of 87 matches scheduled, including numerous first-round matches from the opening Monday. The matches for the day commenced after an almost two-hour long rain delay. However, despite the forecast predicting clear skies, the covers were pulled back on soon after due to yet another spell of rain.
Just two courts at the Championships – the Centre Court and the Court 1 – have the retractable roof facility, which has allowed the participants competing on those courts to complete their opening round matches, albeit the unfavorable weather conditions. The remaining 16 courts, meanwhile, have struggled to get the initial matches completed.
It is worth noting that, the Centre Court and Court 1, reserved for the top players and highly-anticipated match-ups, have conducted just six match-ups per day so far. Moreover, the matches on those two courts start at 1:30 pm local time, which is two hours and 30 minutes later than the remaining courts, where the first match is expected to commence at 11:00 am local time.
On Day 3 (Wednesday, July 5) of Wimbledon, Daniil Medvedev and Barbora Krejcikova will be seen in action on Court 1, contesting their delayed first round matches.
Meanwhile, Jannik Sinner will conclude the day on Court 1 with his second-round match against Diego Schwartzman. Daria Kasatkina, Novak Djokovic and Iga Swiatek, who similarly played their openers on Monday, are scheduled to take to the Centre Court for their second-round matches as well.
On the other hand, players such as Taylor Fritz, Denis Shapovalov, Borna Coric, Danielle Collins, Sloane Stephens, Donna Vekic and Anett Kontaveit have yet to take to the court to conclude their opening Wimbledon matches from Monday. This means, numerous players are expected to await their first results while the players scheduled to play under the roof await their opponents in the third round.
Tennis fans severely condemned Wimbledon for their large-scale scheduling fiasco. Many blasted the organizers for not allowing more competitors to compete under the roof inspite of the unpromising weather.
“87 matches to get through today but Centre Court play starting at 1.30pm. They could have ticked off a ladies singles by now but overpriced hospitality is what it's about these days,” one fan said.
“Is it not bizarre, with so much delayed play, that centre and court 1 still start late ?” another fan wondered.
Here are a few more reactions from fans:
Victoria Azarenka calls for tennis to have "a bit more predictability with the scheduling" at Wimbledon 2023
“I think the traditions are good, but we do want to innovate sometimes, so I think with the rule of scheduling, there will be couple of things that could be adjusted,” she said in her post-match presser.
“For me, the important part is, to grow our sport, is to be able to have a bit more predictability with the scheduling that it's going to be easier for people to follow,” she added.
Azarenka suggested that the match format be changed so as to shorten the encounters, allowing more matches to be played in a limited span of time.
“I feel like if that takes maybe to shorten the matches a little bit and have more, when people come, like, okay, I come to the match, it's going to be from hour and a half to two hours, and then the switch,” Azarenka said.
Tennis has been plagued with numerous rain delays this year. Many tournaments have struggled to get their matches completed on time, with events such as the Turin Challenger and the Nottingham Challenger resorting to indoor hardcourts due to the unfavorable weather conditions.