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Tuesday, 9 July, 2002, 10:42 GMT 11:42 UK
Wimbledon 'could move'
2002 champions Serena Williams and Leyton Hewitt pose with their trophies at the Champions' ball
2002 champions: Serena Williams and Lleyton Hewitt
Wimbledon could shift to a week later in the calendar in order to give players more time to practice on grass, according to a report.


Players have long complained that the two-week break between the French Open and Wimbledon does not give them enough time to prepare for the grass-court season.

But the Daily Telegraph claims a new proposal, which involves changing the date of an American grass-court event, could solve the problem.

The Hall of Fame Championships in Newport, Rhode Island, has traditionally been played in the week after Wimbledon.

But it could be moved to the week after the French Open instead, which would enable Wimbledon to be moved back by seven days.

That would give players a three-week gap between the slow clay courts of the French Open and the quick grass of Wimbledon.

The paper claims the move could happen as early as 2005.

Home comforts

Wimbledon has indicated for several years that if the players made an official request they would seriously think about moving the tournament back.

That has not happened so far because of a number of reasons, the most significant being that players from North and South America do not want to add another week to the 11 they already spend away from home.

It was also thought that the United States Tennis Association would not be happy to lose a week of their season in the run-up to the US Open.

However, with an increasing number of American players flying back to the US in the week after the French Open, the plan to move the Newport grass-court tournament is receiving increasing support.

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