Wimbledon 2014: New staircase puts stop to winners' traditional scramble up the stands

 

It is the hurdle that a Wimbledon champion must negotiate between hitting the winner in the final and raising the trophy: picking their way through the crowd, scrambling over the roof of the commentary box and embracing their family and friends.

This year though, their task will be a little easier. The All England Club has installed a gate and small set of stairs in the side of the players’ box, bringing to an end what has become a modern Wimbledon tradition.

Last year, Andy Murray scaled the roof moments after his historic victory to embrace his coach, supporters and girlfriend Kim Sears, but momentarily forgot to hug his mother Judy. Rafael Nadal, Venus Williams and Goran Ivanisevic have also made the emotional climb in the wake of their wins.

One of those who will be sad to see an end to the roof scramble is the Australian Pat Cash, who was the first to scale the roof of the commentary box when he celebrated his title in 1987.

He told BBC Radio 5 live today: “That’s really taking the challenge out of it. If they’re fit enough to win Wimbledon, I think they should climb up or have some other sort of challenge. It’s way too easy now!”

A spokeswoman for the All England Club said: “It’s just a little old flat roof. It’s just to make it easier for them.” She added that players had not been discouraged from climbing into the stands.

In a statement, the club added: “It was installed in time for this year’s Championships to make it easier for players to access their team.”

Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before