A general view of the AELTC, 2018
A general view of the AELTC, 2018 | (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

Tennis | Wimbledon | Five Key Talking Points from the Wimbledon Spring Press Conference

By Ros Satar, at the Wimbledon Spring Press Conference

  • Prize Money increased again
  • Online ballot applications
  • The New Court 1
  • The Championships 2019
  • Key Dates
LONDON, ENGLAND – The Annual Wimbledon Spring Press Conference showcased the new Master Plan, the now annual Prize Money hikes and more.


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The annual Wimbledon Press Conference will see a shiny new Court No. 1 with added roof, of course increased prize money. Here are our top five thinks we learned this year.


New Court No. 1

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The work on No. 1 Court completed on time and on budget with the new retractable roof and an increased capacity (t0 12,345) with more padded seats, similar to those in Centre Court, 15 refurbished hospitality seats and a living wall either side of the Big Screen which faces Aorangi Terrace.

The No. 1 Court Celebration, in support of the Wimbledon Foundation will be held on Sunday 19 May, featuring a programme of tennis and music to entertain a capacity crowd and will mark the official deployment of the roof.

There will be three matches featuring John McEnroe, Martina Navratilova, Lleyton Hewitt and Goran Ivanisevic, and music featuring Paloma Faith and Joseph Cajella, supported by the BBC Concert Orchestra and Grange Park Opera chorus.


Online Ballot

From The Championships 2020, applications for the Public Ballot will be online. The Ballot will retain the principle that applications may be submitted at any time during the pplication window – being the first to apply will not mean instant tickets!

Register for myWimbledon on Wimbledon.com to be notified of application dates.


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The Championships 2019

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  • This year The Championships will be played on 18 courts: Centre, No. 1, No. 2, No. 3, 4-12, 14-18.
  • The Grounds capacity has been increased up to 42,000.
  • The start time has been moved 30 minutes earlier this year on the outside courts, to start at 11am. The start time remains 1pm on Centre Court and No. 1, and 2pm for the Ladies and Gentlemen’s Singles finals on Centre Court.
  • Following last year’s successful exhibition of Quad Wheelchair tennis, Quad Wheelchair Singles & Doubles are included in this year’s events.
  • The Ladies Single’s Qualifying draw increases from 96 to 128, coming into line with the Gentlemen’s Qualifying draw. There will be no qualifying Doubles event.
  • A tie-break at 12-12 in the final set will apply to all events across Qualifying, Gentlemen’s, Ladies, Mixed and Junior singles and doubles. The match winner(s) will be the first player(s) to reach seven points with an advantage of two or more points. There will be no change to the current format of the Wheelchair events, which are best of three tie-break sets.
  • Electronic line-calling and players challengers will be introduced on Courts 14-17, with more courts to be added next year.
  • There will be one heat rule adopted to ensure parity. We just need it to ever be THAT hot!
  • Roof Protocol: To Be Arranged matches will be completed, where possible, under the roof. Matches being played under the roof that are suspended due to the 11pm curfew will recommence the following day without the roof unless the weather dictates.


Prize Money

  • The total prize money fund will be £38m, an increase of 11.8% on last year.
  • The Ladies and Gentlemen’s Singles champions will each receive £2.35m, increased from £2.25m in 2018.
  • Singles prize money for players competing in Qualifying and the first three rounds of the Main Draw will increase by more than 10%.
  • There are also increases for the Gentlemen’s & Ladies’ Doubles (14.2%) and Mixed Doubles (6.2%)
  • The prize money for Wheelchair events will increase by 47%.


The Key Dates

  • Tuesday 18 June: Tennis Sub-committee meeting to decide wildcards – should one Sir Andrew Barron Murray decide he wants to give Wimbledon a go, and not use his protected ranking, he can apply and will be subjected the process.
  • Monday 24 June – Thursday 27 June: Qualifying Competition (Bank of England Sports Club)
  • Wednesday 26 June: Seeds announced
  • Friday 28 June 10am: The Draw
  • Saturday 29 and Sunday 30 June: Player media availability
  • Sunday 30 June 8am: The Queue opens
  • Monday 1 – Sunday 14 July: The Championships 2019


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