Court Central— Marketa Vondrousova remarked that she was “really happy” to see the roof closed for the final, while Ons Jabeur acknowledged that her opponent benefited from playing indoors.
Jabeur committed numerous errors on Centre Court as Vondrousova won her first grand slam match in straight sets to become the lowest-ranked woman to ever win at Wimbledon.
Winds gusting up to 45 miles per hour and a yellow warning from the Met Office prompted SW19 officials to make the unusual decision to close the roof for the match, despite there being no rain in the air or problems with the lighting.
And Vondrousova, 24, stated that the 10 a.m. Saturday news she received was music to her ears.
Vondrousova, who warmed up on an outdoor court at 11 a.m. for a 2 p.m. match in order to adhere to her original plan, stated, “I feel more comfortable playing indoors.” In contrast, Jabeur struck on Center with the roof closed.
Vondrousova added, “I was ecstatic that they closed the roof because the atmosphere is very different when it’s stormy.
“The roof can aid in service. You do not need to pay as much attention to the atmosphere. I believe that everything is identical on all sides. I believe you should only concentrate on the game, not the wind or even the sun.
“I believe that to be a positive thing. I am accustomed to playing inside. We practice indoors during the winter in Prague. I always perform well indoors. I was thinking, “Yeah, maybe that will help me.”
The Wimbledon organizers have been adamant throughout the entire tournament that theirs is an outdoor event and that whenever possible, matches will be played without a roof.
“They should make every effort to play as much tennis outdoors as possible,” Andy Murray said last week after revealing that he was informed that his late-night postponement against Stefanos Tsitsipas in the second round, in which the first three sets were played under the roof, would resume outdoors the following day.
However, this did not prevent the All England Club from closing the roof on Saturday morning prior to the women’s final, despite the Met Office’s warning that “some damage to trees or temporary structures such as marquees, tents, and inflatables could occur” on an “unseasonably windy day.”
“We have decided to close the roof on Center Court and No. 1 Court based on the weather forecast and the yellow weather warning that has been issued,” a statement to me said.
The players were not consulted prior to making the decision; in the past, both players were required to consent to a change in conditions, and Jabeur stated that it likely aided her opponent’s game strategy.
“Perhaps it helped her today to perform well and make more putts. “If the roof had been open, it may have been a different story for both of us,” Jabeur said.
However, it is what it is. It occurred. I am thrilled that she has won her first grand slam. I am aware that she has been severely injured numerous times as a player.
“I wish her the greatest of luck. I hope she can win additional grand slams.”
Martina Navratilova, who was born in Czechoslovakia but won her nine Wimbledon singles titles representing the United States after defecting as an 18-year-old, said prior to the match that indoor conditions could only favor the underdog. Vondrousova won her only previous tour title indoors, defeating Anett Kontaveit in Switzerland in 2017.
“Clearly, Vondrousova likes the roof closed,” Navratilova said to the BBC.
It removes wind from the equation, so you can confidently strike your shots, knowing the ball will land where it should. Vondrousova must play the final with the hope that the roof will be closed.”
It was not merely a gut feeling. When rain began to fall, Vondrousova trailed No. 4 seed Jessica Pegula 4-1 in the deciding set, and the quarterfinal match was suspended. The match resumed 25 minutes later with the canopy closed, and Vondrousova won five consecutive games to advance to the semifinals.
In the final four, the roof was once again closed, and she lost just six games to Elina Svitolina, who had defeated world No. 1 Iga Swiatek to reach the final.