Run for cover
April 28, 2009 · Print This Article
With constant rain creating extreme tension in regards to the order of play at the Roma Masters this week, it got me thinking, should every major tournament on the calender be forced to have a roof, or some sort of cover on there show courts?
The All England Club unveiled there new roof on center court this week, as rain and Wimbledon have gone hand in hand now for over a century. The state of the art roof is ready to go, and will allow the shrine of the tennis world to be well manicured, over the fortnight this summer.
The Aussie Open has two retractable roofs, and the up coming Madrid Masters, has believe it or not, three courts that can be covered. Magic box which is the new name of the Madrid venue, is to my mind the model that should be looked at, as new tennis stadiums are built around the world.
However, is it really a cost effective practice for roof-less venues, to get roofed, or is it in the best interest of each and every tournament to just deal with mother nature and take it as it comes? Well, I will say this, having tennis is always better than not having tennis. With ticket exchanges becoming a nightmare for events to honor, as well as T.V. coverage commitments, putting in a removable umbrella on a center court or two, only has positive outcomes.
I remember having some of the worst weather that I can recall in recent memory, at the 2008 Masters Toronto event. Everyday included some sort of rain, resulting in empty stands when matches actually began, and not allowing players adequate practice time, therefore effecting their level of play throughout the week.
I believe some careful considerations needs to be taken into account here in regards to this subject, as orders of play are meant to be kept, not put off and lost.
I know what many of you will be thinking, what about those days after a wash out occurs? Those days which perhaps Nadal or Federer would be forced to play two matches, to the approval of the crowd? I never said having a roof was perfect, and being allowed to view ones favorite player twice during a certain day, is all but a mouth watering proposition. But when looking at it from the perspective of the player, I can tell you that is not what they are looking for.
Just think, having no more rain delays, would be a delightful idea for a spectator or player to have when waking up the day of a match and having the certainty that irrespective of the conditions above, there will be a cool drink to be enjoyed by the viewership, as the bull ring will be alive and animated with good clean, and dry action.