Wimbledon may move start date back one week

Chris Chase
Busted Racquet

If you were watching Novak Djokovic play his first match at Wimbledon on Monday and thought, "it felt like I was just watching him play at Roland Garros the other day," there's a good reason: You pretty much were.

It's only been 14 days since Djokovic and Rafael Nadal finished their rain-delayed final at the French Open. The extra day aside, that's the usual two-week break in between the two most-different Grand Slams on the tennis calendar. Going from the slow clay to the fast grass at Wimbledon is a big change and most players only get two weeks and one tournament (if that) with which to warm up.

That all could change. All England Lawn Tennis Club chief executive Richard Lewis told BBC's Radio Five that there are discussions about moving the start of Wimbledon back one week in order to give players more time to rest and prepare:

"We are seriously considering it. It's often been discussed and it would be ideal to have a longer break. It would be three weeks, ideally, between the French Open and Wimbledon. We believe there are really, really good tennis reasons for having a longer break.

"We think that more time on the softer surface of grass is something that the players will definitely welcome. And they will welcome the rest and recuperation they can get between playing an intense tournament at Roland Garros and coming to Wimbledon. Three weeks gives them much better preparation time."

It's especially important for the top players. Early exiters from Roland Garros can have as many as four weeks to get ready for Wimbledon. But if a player makes the semifinals or finals, the time to change up for grass is minimal.

If the AELTC makes the move, the men's final would be held between July 9 and July 15. This would be a welcome move by American tennis fans, who oftentimes have to deal with men's and women's finals that happen over July 4th weekend.

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