Wimbledon 97: Henman closes the roof question
Saturday 28 June 1997
"I would be delighted if I was still here," the British No 1 said. "I would not be so pleased if we were still in the first round.''
The questioner had a delayed men's singles final in mind, and if Henman were still around for that the nation would be in a state of high rejoicing, come hell or high water, neither of which is being ruled out.
What Henman does not want is a roof on the new No 1 Court, or any other court come to that. Nor would he favour a reduction in the men's singles matches from five sets to three.
"The issue of it being Wimbledon is irrelevant. I don't think there should be a roof. It's an outdoor tournament, and it should remain that way," he said.
"In Australia [where there is a retractable roof on the Centre Court in Melbourne], there's an issue with the heat. Everybody knows that when you go down to Australia it's going to be hot, and I think if you enter a tournament and you go down there you have got to be prepared to play in those conditions. It's obviously not going to be quite as hot here, but it's an outside tournament and I think it should remain that way.
"With regards to taking the singles to three sets, I would not like to see that happen. If it did happen I think it probably would lead to quite a few upsets, because grass, I think, does provide the opportunity for upsets.''
Did he think there would be a lot of opposition from his fellow players?
"It hasn't been spoken about a great deal, as an option. I can only speak from my point of view. But who knows? When you've got a situation like this, there's a lot of balls being thrown in the air.
"We have discussed roofs. Some people have the opinion that they would like to see a roof, and it would give the chance for tennis to be played and the fans to see it and for people to see it on television. But at the moment, you know, the players are just sort of switching off and trying to stay as relaxed as possible.''
The 17-year-old Venus Williams, purple, green and white beads in place, was also content to bide her time for her Wimbledon debut without bothering her head about a roof.
"Why would you want to play on grass and have a covered court when you can play in the sun if it's going to shine?" she said. "I don't think the courts should be covered. I'm sure they won't do it, either. It would ruin the tradition.''
Williams has found time for some sight-seeing with her younger sister, Serena. "We went to the Tower of London, and We went to the London Dungeons. that's where I wanted to go.''
Did she see the Crown Jewels? "Yes, we saw the jewels.''
Did she see anything she would like to take home?
"I won't tell you guys my plans now..."
Latest in Sport
England 29 Wales 18 match report: Stuart Lancaster's men enjoy their day in the sun at expense of weary Wales
Carl Froch v George Groves tickets for Wembley Stadium rematch reportedly sell-out within an hour of going on sale
FA Cup semi-final draw: Arsenal to play Wigan at Wembley, Hull paired with Sheffield United
England 29 Wales 18 player ratings: Who was the star man at Twickenham?
FA Cup semi-finals: Lukasz Fabianski will start in goal for Arsenal against Wigan
- 1 Oxford is the least affordable city in the UK, where houses cost 11 times local salaries
- 2 Australian man Rod Sommerville reacts to bite from deadly snake by reaching for cold beer
- 3 North Korea elections: Kim Jong-un wins 100% of the vote
- 4 David Cameron resorts to paying for Facebook fans because not enough people like him
- 5 Steve Irwin’s final words: Cameraman present at death opens up about deadly stingray attack for the first time
Britain's top vet sparks controversy with call for ban on slashing animals' throats in 'ritual' slaughters for halal and kosher meat products
If you're horrified by a flame-roasted dog, you should be shocked at a hog roast
Poor 'live like animals' says Boris's privately educated sister after going on 'poverty safari'
Exclusive: Impact of immigrants on British workers ‘negligible’
Vince Cable: Teachers 'know absolutely nothing' about the world of work
Ukraine crisis: Russia pledges to 'retaliate against sanctions' as Ukrainian president says Crimea vote will not be recognised
£12000 per annum: Inspiring Interns: Our client is a leading digital agency bu...
£40000 - £45000 per annum: Charter Selection: Global leader in its respective ...
£130 - £161 per day: Randstad Education Nottingham: Do you have a qualificatio...
£6720 - £33600 per annum: Randstad Education Nottingham: The school is much la...