Wimbledon 97: Court Circular: No tears for demise of old No 1 court

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The Independent Online
The new No 1 Court, built at a cost of pounds 100m, has been warmly received. Offering a superb view, unhindered by pillar or post, in addition to plush shopping and eating facilities, it would be surprising if the verdict was anything else.

It has been said it lacks the Centre Court sense of intimacy and atmosphere, but perhaps that will come in time. As for the old No 1 Court, it had a feel and a flavour of history all of its own. Those who return year after year are mourning its departure.

Not so the players. Court Two is traditionally referred to as the graveyard of the seeds, because of the number of big names who have perished there over the years, but it seems its senior partner was not too highly thought of either. Monica Seles said she was pleased to see it go. "It was never very kind to me and perhaps without it my Wimbledon luck will change."

A similar note was sounded by Boris Becker, who was asked after his first- round win whether he had feared for his chances out on Court Two. "My problem was always the old No 1 Court," the German replied.

"I have broken my wrist there and I had the longest matches in the tournament out there, so when they decided to put it away I was kind of glad."

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