The Championships, Wimbledon
Agassi, Graf, Clijsters And Henman Set For A Centre Court Celebration
Wimbledon, United Kingdom
by ATP Staff|
The All England Club, Wimbledon, announced on Tuesday that a star line-up of Andre Agassi, Stefanie Graf, Kim Clijsters and Tim Henman will become the first to play tennis under the new Centre Court roof as part of its A Centre Court Celebration event on Sunday May 17, 2009.
The event is designed to test the new roof and air management system with live tennis in front of a capacity crowd of 15,000.
The programme will feature a men’s singles, a ladies’ singles and a mixed doubles match all played to the pro set format – the first to eight games, with a tie-break at 8-8. The exact order of play will be confirmed nearer the time.
Tickets priced at £35.00 each will go on general sale via Ticketmaster and 0844 847 2481 at 10.00am on Thursday March 12, 2009. There will be no on-day sales at the turnstiles.
Ian Ritchie, Chief Executive of the All England Club, said: “We set out to make Wimbledon the world’s premier tennis event. The new retractable Centre Court roof, and air management system, is another important part of The Championships’ progression and will guarantee the play that today’s audiences expect.
“Though this project has been a sophisticated engineering feat, we always wanted to capture the essence of Wimbledon’s history and tradition in a new, modern Centre Court which itself would still be celebrated as the stage of some of the most memorable moments in tennis.
“With players of the calibre of Agassi, Graf, Clijsters and Henman this test event promises to be hugely entertaining. Brilliant players, great tennis, an iconic venue and the chance to be part of Wimbledon history – what more could one want?”
The 1992 Wimbledon champion Andre Agassi said: “I am honoured to be invited by the All England Club to take part in this landmark occasion. I have great memories of playing at Wimbledon and to be amongst the first to play under the new Centre Court roof is really exciting.”
Stefanie Graf commented: "There is no tennis venue more special to me than Centre Court at Wimbledon. It just doesn't get any better. I couldn't be more honoured to play there again with my husband Andre, and tennis greats Kim and Tim. It will mean so much to return to Wimbledon and see so many familiar places, relive so many wonderful memories."
Four-time Wimbledon semi-finalist Tim Henman said: “Wimbledon’s Centre Court was always a special place for me and it’s just great to have the chance to play there again with the likes of Andre, Steffi and Kim. I think it will be a really fun day for everyone and the new roof is going to make it a fascinating experience.”
Kim Clijsters said: “To be asked to be part of this unique event with Andre and Steffi and Tim is very exciting and a real privilege. It has been ten years since I played Steffi at Wimbledon. My first and only match against her in my career. It was quite an experience. I was very nervous to play against my idol and because of the rain the match took two days to finish. The new roof will prevent that this time around.”