Tennis enthusiasts were in an uproar as Andy Murray’s and Stefanos Tsitsipas’ hard-fought second-round match was suspended on Thursday night. Historically, Grand Slam tournaments go deep into the night, but for Wimbledon, the rules are a bit different.
The All England Championships have a strict curfew and many are asking why. Here, WWD breaks down all you need to know about the curfew heard ’round the world.
When is the Wimbledon curfew?
The Wimbledon curfew is 11 p.m. local time in London. According to tournament rules, all matches must stop by this time.
Why does Wimbledon have a curfew?
The Wimbledon curfew has been in place since 2009 when Center Court first opened its roof.
A statement from Wimbledon in 2018 read: “The 11 p.m. curfew is a Planning Condition applied to balance the consideration of the local residents with the scale of an international tennis event that takes place in a residential area. The challenge of transport connectivity and getting visitors home safely is also a key consideration.”
What are the implications of the Wimbledon curfew?
As witnessed Thursday night, the curfew can cause an abrupt halt to a highly anticipated match.
Murray’s and Stefanos Tsitsipas’ on-court battle isn’t the only match impacted by the curfew. In the 2018 semifinal, Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal had to pause their match after the third set. Nick Kyrgios’ and Ugo Humbert’s match was also suspended when tied 3-3 in the fifth set.
Have there been exceptions to the curfew?
When it comes to sports, unexpected things can happen. In 2012, the curfew was slightly pushed back two minutes when Andy Murray beat Marcos Baghdatis at 11:02 p.m. Stephen Alambritis, the leader of Merton Council, the borough where Wimbleon is located, stated at the time, “flexibility and common sense prevailed.”
Wimbledon is the oldest tennis tournament in the world, held annually in London at Wimbledon. The 2023 edition will run through July 16. While Murray was in the lead on Thursday night, he ultimately was beaten by Tsitsipas after a fifth-set decider.