Wimbledon | Murray calls for earlier starts

Andy Murray has hinted and his former coach Brad Gilbert has declared that Wimbledon should bring forward the start times on Centre Court by an hour, to 12.30.

There is a curfew of 11pm agreed with the Merton Council when the roof was put on the most famous tennis arena of all in 2009.

And Murray plus defending title holder Novak Djokovic both have had matches suspended at this year’s tournament because of it.

Murray, the two-time champion and former world No.1, was on course to defeat fifth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas in the second round before time ran out. And his Greek opponent was able to turn things around to overcome the Brit the following day.

Djokovic was forced to resume against Pole Hubert Hurkcasz in their third-round encounter for the same reason. The second seed had only just beaten the deadline to overcome Stan Wawrinka in the previous round.

Murray retweeted an article by The Times tennis writer Stuart Fraser which called for the powers-that-be at the All-England Club to end 1.30pm starts on the court and move “everything back at least an hour, which would help to get matches done before the nightly cut-off point”.

And Gilbert, a former world No.4, tweeted: “Crazy we can’t finish 3 matches on centre, maybe next year we can start matches at 1230 on centre. 12 on court one.”

Gilbert believes it is a common-sense solution.

He tweeted: “One thing is for sure from seeing many responses, 1st why I said next year for earlier starts on centre and one. There is absolute zero chance [play] can go later then 11pm. It is not just Wimbledon it’s all over London. At other venues most are 1030.”

Journalists and Wimbledon staff are also said to be “unhappy” with the current start time.



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