In a major tennis calendar move, Wimbledon announced today new dates for 2015 and beyond creating a much-needed three week gap between the French Open and the Championships. The 2015 Wimbledon edition will begin on Monday, June 29 and conclude on Sunday, July 12.
The decision allows more time for players to recover from the clay season and prepare for the grass, which has traditionally started with important grass events like Queen’s and Halle immediately following the French Open. Player fatigue and injury often led to withdrawals and sub-standard play from the top stars, or just absence.
Philip Brook, Chairman of the All England Club, said, “The best interests of tennis will be served by allowing the players more time to recuperate and to adjust from the clay of Roland Garros to the grass at Wimbledon. All our research indicates that there is widespread support within the game for extending the gap between the French Open and Wimbledon and, importantly, we think most players will welcome the prospect of a longer grass court season and spending more time on the softer surface of grass.
“In making this change from 2015 we recognise that there will be some important consequences for the overall tennis calendar and enough time needs to be given to allow us all to plan accordingly.”
The extra week should increase the number of tour grass events, all likely in England, and further warrant a Masters/Premier level grass tournament.
It should also be a boon to grass players who excel on the surface.
However, with the grass season adding a week, the summer season will lose a week unless the US Open also pushes back in the calendar, a change that just won’t happen. Therefore, early summer events like Newport, Atlanta, Bastad, Gstaad, Stanford, Carlsbad and other circuits like World Team Tennis might be scrambling to find a new home on the ever-tightening tennis calendar.
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