Wimbledon: Centre and Court One to be at full capacity from Tuesday

By Sports Desk July 04, 2021

Wimbledon will open up to full-capacity crowds on Centre Court and Court One from Tuesday, after being given the go-ahead by the UK government.

The tournament operated at 50 per cent capacity on its main show courts during the first week of the championships, with it being designated a pandemic era pilot event.

Now Wimbledon is poised to welcome a full house on its two biggest stadiums from the start of the quarter-finals. The women's last-eight matches are due to take place on Tuesday.

It had previously been stated that Centre Court would function at full capacity on finals weekend, July 10-11, but the plan has been brought forward.

It means there will be full outdoor stadiums at a major sporting event in the UK for the first time since COVID-19 triggered a lockdown in March 2020.

 

The World Snooker Championship, an indoor event, welcomed a capacity crowd for its two-day final in May at the Crucible theatre in Sheffield.

In a statement, Wimbledon hosts the All England Lawn Tennis Club (AELTC) said: "Following the successful staging of the first week of the championships, as agreed with the government's events research programme and in consultation with our local authority in Merton, the AELTC is pleased to confirm that Centre and Number One Court will feature 100 per cent capacity crowds for the quarter-finals, with Centre Court also at 100 per cent for the semi-finals and finals.

"This marks the first full outdoor stadiums at a sporting event in the UK since the pandemic began. The capacity of Centre Court is 14,979, and the capacity of Number One Court is 12,345. Capacity across the rest of the grounds will be reduced according to the number of courts in play.

"Ticket-holders will continue to be required to show proof of their COVID status on arrival, and are asked to observe the guidance around wearing face coverings on the move and supporting any additional mitigation measures in place."

Related items

  • WTA suspends tournaments in China amid concerns over Peng Shuai WTA suspends tournaments in China amid concerns over Peng Shuai

    The WTA has suspended its upcoming tournaments in China amid concern over the safety of Peng Shuai after she made allegations of sexual assault against a top Chinese government official.

    Peng was not seen in public for several weeks after leveling the accusations against Zhang Gaoli, the ex-vice premier and member of the Chinese Communist Party's Politburo Standing Committee.

    She posted the allegations on social media site Weibo in early November, though her post has since been removed and her whereabouts have been unclear.

    In mid-November, an email allegedly sent by Peng was received by WTA chairman Steve Simon, who expressed his confusion and disbelief at the message, which claimed the sexual assault allegations were false and that the tennis star was safely at home.

    The WTA also welcomed pictures of Peng on a video call with International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach, but a spokesperson for the women's tennis organisation insisted that did not alleviate the concern.

    Simon called for a full investigation into the incident as he said the prior email only heightened his worries over Peng's safety, also threatening to suspend WTA tournament action in China until the matter was resolved.

    He has since confirmed the suspension will be imposed on tournaments in China in a statement released on Wednesday.

    "When on November 2, 2021, Peng Shuai posted an allegation of sexual assault against a top Chinese government official, the Women's Tennis Association recognised that Peng Shuai's message had to be listened to and taken seriously," Simon's statement read. 

    "The players of the WTA, not to mention women around the world, deserve nothing less.

    "From that moment forward, Peng Shuai demonstrated the importance of speaking out, particularly when it comes to sexual assault, and especially when powerful people are involved.

    "As Peng said in her post, 'Even if it is like an egg hitting a rock, or if I am like a moth drawn to the flame, inviting self-destruction, I will tell the truth about you.' She knew the dangers she would face, yet she went public anyway. I admire her strength and courage."

    The statement outlined a number of grievances with the way the Chinese state has handled the matter, before adding: "As a result, and with the full support of the WTA Board of Directors, I am announcing the immediate suspension of all WTA tournaments in China, including Hong Kong.

    "In good conscience, I don't see how I can ask our athletes to compete there when Peng Shuai is not allowed to communicate freely and has seemingly been pressured to contradict her allegation of sexual assault."

  • Former British number one Konta retires from tennis aged 30 Former British number one Konta retires from tennis aged 30

    Former British number one Johanna Konta has announced her retirement from tennis after a continuous battle with a knee injury.

    Konta, who is a three-time Grand Slam semi-finalist, has not featured on the WTA Tour since August and decided to step away aged 30.

    She became the first British woman in 39 years to reach the Wimbledon semi-finals in 2017, while also making the last four at the Australia Open a year earlier and at the French Open in 2019.

    Australia-born Konta, a former world number four, collected four titles on the WTA Tour and represented Great Britain in the Fed Cup.

    In a statement posted on social media on Wednesday, Konta said: "Grateful. This is the word that I've probably been used to the most during my career, and is the word that I feel explains it best at the end.

    "My playing career has come to an end, and I am so incredibly grateful for the career that it turned out to be.

    "All the evidence pointed towards me not 'making' it in this profession. However, my luck materialised in the people that came into my life and impacted my existence in ways that transcended tennis.

    "I am so incredibly grateful for these people. You know who you are."

    Konta made her last tour-level appearance at the Cincinnati Open on August 18 when she lost in the first round to Karolina Muchova.

    The Briton had only one win in her last five majors since reaching the quarter-finals of the US Open in 2019 and dropped to 113th in the rankings but remains thankful for the opportunities she has been granted.

    "Through my own resilience and through the guidance of others, I got to live my dreams," she added. "I got to become what I wanted and said as a child.

    "How incredibly fortunate I count myself to be. How grateful I am."

  • Bayern Munich set to play home games behind closed doors Bayern Munich set to play home games behind closed doors

    Bayern Munich are set to play home matches behind closed doors "for the foreseeable future" due to rising coronavirus infection rates.

    Two cases of the new Omicron coronavirus variant were detected in Bavaria at the weekend.

    As of Monday, the seven-day average for new COVID-19 cases in the southern German state stood at 12,304.

    Government officials are scheduled to meet on Thursday to decide on new restrictions for the country in an attempt to halt the spread of the respiratory illness.

    The state of Saxony has already stopped supporters from attending matches and Bavaria will now do likewise, regardless of the outcome of Thursday's meeting.

    Speaking on Tuesday, Bavaria's Prime Minister Markus Soder told state broadcaster BR: "When Christmas markets are closed, it is not appropriate to have full stadiums."

    "It makes no sense for the foreseeable future to admit viewers again. It is an important demand that we decide today that we will no longer allow viewers in the future. 

    "If that doesn't work at the federal level, we would do it for Bavaria alone."

    Soder later used Twitter to justify his comments, posting: "The high mobility when travelling to and from the club is currently irresponsible. 

    "Football is a great role model. We now have to reduce contacts everywhere."

    No timeline was set by Soder, but Bayern do not play at the Allianz Arena again until Barcelona visit in the final round of Champions League matches on December 8.

    The Bundesliga champions then host Mainz in the league three days later and Wolfsburg on December 17 in their final game before the mid-season hiatus.

    Fellow Bavarian Bundesliga sides Augsburg and Greuther Furth would also be affected by the measures.

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.