For the first time in the history of Wimbledon, players will be allowed to practice in the Centre Court as well as Court number 1 before the start of the tournament. Until this year, players were forbidden from using the two main courts.
Confirmation from @Wimbledon that players will practice on Centre Court & No 1 for the first time ever, to bed in the courts better. Until now, only club members set foot on Centre outside of the Championships. My piece from last year on an old tradition https://t.co/tzIhixfgaM
— Simon Cambers (@scambers73) June 20, 2022
While the players were forbidden, the members of the All England Club were allowed to use it before The Championships. This long-standing rule will finally change as players will also start practicing on the iconic tennis court before the tournament.
Centre Court is probably the most iconic court in the history of tennis. The biggest rivalries have unfolded on the court and legends have played and won long battles to life the Wimbledon trophy. For many players, the opportunity to practice might be the only time they get to play on that court.
Why were players previously forbidden from playing in Centre Court before Wimbledon?
Wimbledon is the oldest and the most prestigious grand slam in tennis. There is a reason why the tournament is more special than the rest of the grand slams and the tournaments. The reason is that Wimbledon is a tournament filled with traditions.
You might be familiar with some of them if you remotely follow tennis. The biggest tradition is the rule of white outfits. Players wear predominantly white clothes for their matches and this has been the practice since the start of the tournament.
However, another interesting tradition is the unique match played before the start of the tournament. The unique match is a doubles match played between four women. What is interesting to note is that the match is played with a referee, ball boys, an electronic scoreboard, and of course, the iconic white outfits.
The match is conducted as a practice session before the actual tournament to ensure everything is in place. Women are used for this match as they are lighter and the chances of damage to the court are much less. That is also the reason why players are not allowed to practice before the tournament.