Wimbledon may light up

LONDON - Wimbledon officials said on Tuesday that there are no plans to change the daytime format of the championships but refused to categorically rule out future play under the new lights that make their debut at this summer's edition.

LONDON - Wimbledon officials said on Tuesday that there are no plans to change the daytime format of the championships but refused to categorically rule out future play under the new lights that make their debut at this summer's edition.

The coming tournament will mark the initiation of the new moveable roof that will allow at least one match to continue when the inevitable rain arrives.

The 1000-ton monster covering 5200 square metres will open and close in less than 10 minutes.

The system will have a trial run on May 17 when Andre Agassi, Steffi Graf, Tim Henman and Kim Clijsters play in front of a sellout crowd.

"Wimbledon will continue to be an outdoor daytime tennis event," said club boss Tim Phillips.

But chief executive Ian Ritchie hinted that late nights could become a part of the fabric if necessary.

"We don't want to see night time tennis and we hope and believe that the matches would finish in daytime hours, but if they don't, we'll close the roof and finish them," Ritchie said.

"There is an obligation for the people here in person and the millions watching on television. But we need to provide consistent conditions for the players. If a match starts with it [the roof] shut it will finish with it shut."

The project also added 1200 extra centre court seats for a total capacity of 15000. - Sapa-DPA

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