• Wimbledon

Wimbledon to start a week later in 2015

ESPN staff
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Wimbledon will start a week later from 2015 © PA Photos
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Wimbledon will begin a week later from 2015, meaning players will now have a three-week break following the conclusion of the French Open.

As it stands there is only a fortnight between the end of the French Open and the start of Wimbledon, but the new changes will mean players have 22 days to get acclimatised to the grass before launching their SW19 bid from June 29.

"There is widespread support within the game for extending the gap," said All England Club chairman Philip Brook. "The best interests of tennis will be served by allowing the players more time to recuperate and to adjust from the clay of Roland Garros to the grass at Wimbledon.

"We think most players will welcome the prospect of a longer grass-court season and spending more time on the softer surface of grass."

The rescheduling may affect other parts of the tennis calendar - currently the Aegon Championships at Queen's Club starts a day after the men's final at Roland Garros, while the Gerry Weber Open and the Aegon Classic have the same timetabling.

The start of the North American hard-court season, which normally kicks off on the final Monday in August, may also be reassessed.

"In making this change from 2015 we recognise that there will be some important consequences for the overall tennis calendar and enough time needs to be given to allow us all to plan accordingly," Brook added.

"In anticipation of the work required, I would like to thank our colleagues throughout the game for their enthusiasm and support for the vision of a tennis calendar that will better suit the needs of the modern day sport."

World No. 2 Novak Djokovic threw his support behind the concept to change Wimbledon's starting date at this year's championships. "We need an extra week," he said. "It would work in the favour of players because it would give the top ones a little bit more time to get used to the surface.

"Logically speaking, it is the slowest surface that we're talking about, clay, moving to the fastest one, which takes time."

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