Over the years the courts of the All England Club have been graced by some of the sport's most exciting players in some epoch-making duels. The Borg-McEnroe tie-break; Becker's victory in 1986; Fred Perry's three in a row and the marathon five setter between Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal in 2008 which is termed as the 'greatest match ever,' can hardly fade out of our memories. The latest addition to the list is the ongoing rivalry between arguably the two greatest champions in the open era- Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic.
The singular stage, that is the Centre Court not only looks like a rectangle of flawless emerald but also plays like a gem. Used only for two weeks in the entire year, the showpiece court never fails to charm us.
Centre Court was opened in 1922 when The All England Lawn Tennis Club moved to its current grounds at Church Road from Worple Road.
The Championships always generated lot of pace but for the courts in the past five years have been sown entirely with perennial ryegrass, replacing the mixture of 70 percent rye and 30 percent creeping red fescue that was the norm through 2000.
There has been a diligent effort, however, to make the courts sure if not slow, with firmer soil and subsurface that makes the ball bounce higher and more reliably.
The 2009 Wimbledon Championships was played under a retractable roof over the court. The roof provides a consistent and safe (non-slippery) playing environment in both open and closed positions. Thus, the traditional rain no longer leads to stoppages.
Year 2011 also marked the inauguration of 3D broadcast of the Wimbledon. The finals were telecast in 3D on BBC.