The Wimbledon Show Court – Centre Court at SW17
Centre Court is the main court arena at the annual Wimbledon Championships which plays host to Men’s Singles, Ladies’ Singles, Doubles and Mixed Doubles matches throughout the 2 week tournament every summer. It also plays host to occasional Davis Cup fixtures.
Since renovations in 2009, Centre Court now has a capacity of up to 15,000 spectators making it the joint sixth largest tennis arena in the world alongside the National Tennis Stadium in Beijing and Qizhong Forest Sports Arena in Shanghai, but behind the Arthur Ashe Stadium in New York (23,200), The O2 Arena in London (17,500), the Sinan Erdem Dome in Istanbul (16,410) and the Ahoy Stadium in Rotterdam (15,818). No 1 Court has a capacity of 11,429.
The Men’s champion opens Centre Court proceedings every year on Day 1 with the defending Ladies’ winner commencing play on Day 2. Four games are played daily on the main showcourt plus all Singles quarter finals, semi finals and finals.
The famous Centre Court Royal Box is used by the the British Royal Family as well as other distinguished guests.
In 2009 a retractable room was installed over the Centre Court meaning play can remain uninterupted by rain throughout the day until to a curfew of 11pm. It takes between 10 to 45 minutes to complete the air-conditioned acclimatsation. Rules dictate that once the roof is closed it must remain so until the completion of the match.
The first game to require the roof to be closed was between Amélie Mauresmo and Dinara Safina on June 29th 2009. The first Wimbledon final to be played partially under the roof was in 2012 between Roger Federer and Andy Murray.
Along with No 1 Court and No 2 Court, Centre Court was used during the 2012 London Olympics. The singles gold medals were won by Andy Murray and Serena Williams.