No. 1 Court (Wimbledon)
|Location||All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club
Wimbledon, London, SW19
The No. 1 Court is a tennis court at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, Wimbledon, London. Opened in 1997, it is used for the Wimbledon Championships and is sometimes chosen for Great Britain Davis Cup home ties, the primary Centre Court being preserved solely for the Grand Slam tennis tournament (and the 2012 Olympic Games). With a spectator capacity of 11,360 it replaced the now-demolished former No. 1 Court which had stood at the west side of Centre Court since 1924 with a spectator capacity of 7,328. The old court was replaced by the Millennium Building, the media centre and facilities for players, members, and officials.
Former No. 1 Court
The original No. 1 Court was built in 1924 and was attached to the west side of Centre Court.[a] Originally it had a capacity of about 3,250 (2,500 seats and approximately 750 standing) which was increased over the years to 7,328[b] It was smaller than the current No. 1 Court and was said to have had a unique, more intimate atmosphere and was a favourite of many players.
The old court was replaced in 1997 by the current No. 1 Court situated to the north of Centre Court in Aorangi Park. The old No. 1 Court was demolished because its capacity for spectators was too low. The site of the old court is now occupied by the Millennium Building, the media centre, and facilities for players, members, and officials.
Current No. 1 Court
The current No. 1 Court in Aorangi Park was built in 1997, with a spectator capacity of 11,432. It was opened on 23 June 1997 and as part of the opening ceremony a salver was presented to 10 former champions who had won at least three singles titles.[c]The first match played on the new court was between Tim Henman and Daniel Nestor.
- The first match played on the court was between the British players Brian Gilbert and Noel Turnbull. The following day the first ladies' match was played between Suzanne Lenglen and Sylvia Lumley-Ellis.
- 700 seats were added in 1929, 450 in 1939, 900 in 1955 and 1,250 in 1981 resulting in a final seating capacity of 6,508.
- The recipients of the silver salver were Louise Brough, Rod Laver, Margaret Court, Billie Jean King, John Newcombe, Chris Evert, Martina Navratilova, John McEnroe, Boris Becker and Pete Sampras. The only surviving absentees were Maria Bueno, Bjorn Borg who declined to attend and Steffi Graf who was recovering from knee surgery.
- Little (2013), p. 62
- Little (2013), p. 145
- Laurie Pignon (19 June 1996). "No 1 for all the hits". The Independent.
- Christopher Clarey (20 June 2011). "Friendlier Court Replaces Wimbledon 'Graveyard'". The New York Times.
- Little (2013), p. 91
- "Wimbledon invests in players and The Championships". The Championships, Wimbledon. Retrieved 23 April 2013.
- "Wimbledon prize money up 40% and roof planned for Court One". BBC Sport. BBC. 23 April 2013. Retrieved 2013-04-23.
- Little, Alan (2013). 2013 Wimbledon Compendium (23rd ed.). London: The All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club. ISBN 978-1899039401.
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