The Wimbledon 2021 will see no play on the 4th of July, 2021 owing to their age-old tradition. Wimbledon is famous for preserving their traditions from long back and they continue to do so till date. This includes the famous “Middle Sunday” which has been a practice only followed at the All-England Club amongst all the 4 Grand Slams in tennis.
The ‘Middle Sunday’ is the name given to the Sunday that comes during the scheduled fortnight of the Grand Slam when no matches are held on Sunday for the maintenance of the Grass which is a delicate surface as compared to the other Grand Slams as the quality of Grass can deteriorate with the high intensity back-to-back matches being played on it.
Owing to this tradition of no play on the ‘Middle Sunday’, there will be no matches held this year as well on the 4th of July, 2021 as it falls on Sunday. Since 1877 when the first Wimbledon was held, only on 4 occasions 1991, 1997, 2004 and 2016, matches were held on Sunday because of rain delaying the original schedule.
The Middle Sunday followed by “Manic Monday” when all the 16 fourth round matches of Men’s and Women’s Singles are conducted on the same day. The Wimbledon remains the only Grand Slam to still have this rule as the remaining three Grand Slams no longer follow this.
Middle Sunday to be discontinued after Wimbledon 2021
While the Middle Sunday extended the schedule by 1 day, it generated better revenues as an extra day of the tournament was scheduled. However, the Wimbledon 2021 will be the last occasion when this tradition is carried as the All England Lawn Tennis Club announced that come Wimbledon 2022, the practice will be abolished.
“It’s important at this stage of the development of the sport that Wimbledon should be even more accessible to the people who want to access it and at the times at which they are best able to. We consider that it’s in the best interests of the tennis fans that Wimbledon should be available to be watched and attended throughout that middle weekend,” read the released statement by the Club.
The change has been brought in with the consideration of better technology available to maintain the surface without the need of sacrificing an extra day and utilising the weekend properly which was earlier ignored owing to no matches on the Sunday.
With this being the last ‘Middle Sunday’ of the Wimbledon Championships, it will be enjoyed and cherished profusely.