Wimbledon: Nadal not sweet on playing under roof

Jun 23, 2011

Rafael Nadal enjoyed winning his first match under the Centre Court roof but would rather see the skies above Wimbledon as he moves through the rest of the tournament.

The heavy rain that delayed play on all courts bar Centre until after 3pm prompted organisers to close the main court's roof for the opening match between Venus Williams and Kimiko Date-Krumm at 1pm.

But with that contest lasting just shy of three hours, the rain had passed by the time Nadal took to the court to face Ryan Sweeting, and the defending champion later claimed he was informed by officials that the roof would be reopened.

But a last-minute change of heart owing to concerns over the forecast forced it to remain shut, so Nadal promptly went about beating Sweeting 6-3 6-2 6-4 while matches on the other courts went ahead under something approaching sunshine.

Although he was hardly scathing about the conditions under the roof, Nadal would prefer not to have to play under it again.

“There are more humid conditions inside,” he said.

“I don't know if the change in the atmosphere is because of the roof or because it was raining before the match.

“It seemed like the court was a little more slipper than usual, on the left part. It was something strange. They told me they were going to open the roof, but at the last minute they told me they predicted a shower. It never came.

"It was a new experience. But the tournament is outdoor, it is not indoor. And I prefer to play outdoors.”