Roof raises Vondrousova’s game as the new Wimbledon champion admits controversial decision to play indoors due to wind helped her win title
Marketa Vondrousova admitted Wimbledon’s controversial decision to close the roof for Saturday’s final helped her become the first unseeded player to win the women’s title.
The sun was beaming down and there was no rain to speak of, but Wimbledon had decided in the morning to shut the roof due to 45mph winds.
‘I was really happy they closed the roof because it’s very different than in the windy weather,’ said the 24-year-old Czech after beating Ons Jabeur 6-4 6-4.
‘The roof can help you with the serve. You just have to focus on the game, not on the wind, not even on the sun. I’m used to playing indoors. We practice in Prague in winter indoors. I always play good indoors.’
In her quarter-final, Vondrousova was trailing by a break in the deciding set when the roof was closed and she came back to win. Her semi-final against Elina Svitolina was played indoors because of the rain and she won 6-3 6-3. She played her last four-and-a-half sets of the tournament indoors and won them all.
Marketa Vondrousova admitted the decision to close the roof for the Wimbledon final helped her lift the trophy
The roof was closed before play due to high winds, a controversial decision with no rain
‘I don’t know,’ said Jabeur when asked what impact the closing of the roof had on the match. ‘Maybe it helped her today to play good and put more balls in. I don’t know if the roof was open it would have been a different story.’
A Wimbledon statement read: ‘We have been monitoring the weather forecast and in light of the yellow weather warning issued, we have taken the decision to close the roof on Centre Court and No 1 Court.’
Regardless, this was a quite astonishing outcome for a woman who had won only one match across four previous visits to the All England Club and had her wrist in a cast this time last year. ‘This seems impossible,’ said the world No 42. ‘On grass I didn’t play well before, I think it was the most impossible Grand Slam for me to win. When we came, I was just like, “Try to win a couple of matches”. Now this happened, it’s crazy.’
Jabeur, meanwhile, admitted she wasn’t sure what impact the roof had, though she broke down after the game
It was a crushing defeat for Jabeur, who was a heavy favourite to win but has now lost two Wimbledon finals in a row, along with last year’s US Open final. Her tears flowed freely after the match and she was comforted by the Princess of Wales.
Asked what was said, the 28-year-old Tunisian replied: ‘Same thing as last year: to encourage me to be strong, to come back and win a Grand Slam, win Wimbledon. She was very nice. She didn’t know whether to give me a hug or not. I told her hugs are always welcome for me. That was a very nice moment.’
There was an unfortunate start to the day for Jabeur, who turned up to practice on Centre Court dressed in black, and had to be turfed off and sent to change into all white.
Players are allowed to wear whatever colour they choose on the practice courts, but that does not apply to Centre. ‘I completely forgot,’ said the No 6 seed. ‘It was an honest mistake.’