Australia’s Nick Kyrgios has fallen victim to Wimbledon’s strict 11pm curfew, with his match against Ugo Humbert suspended with the pair locked at 3-3 in the fifth set.
The pair will have to resume on day three of The Championships to complete their first round match. It’s the second time this year they’ve gone to a fifth set, having also gone the distance in Melbourne in Feburary, with Kyrgios victorious on that occasion.
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But unlike the Australian Open and Roland Garros earlier this year, this curfew wasn’t COVID-related. Wimbledon has long had a policy that play ends at 11pm local time.
What is the Wimbledon curfew?
Wimbledon has an 11pm curfew that’s due to the location of the All England Club. Surrounded by houses, the idea of thousands of tennis fans spilling onto local streets sometime after midnight is something organisers are keen to avoid.
In 2018, the epic men’s semi-final between Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal had to be suspended after the third set as the clock reached 11pm. The pair came back the next day, before the women’s final, to complete a match that eventually lasted five hours and 15 minutes.
The first round match between Nick Kyrgios and Ugo Humbert has been suspended due to Wimbledon’s curfew. (Getty)
The start of their match had been delayed after the other semi-final, between Kevin Anderson and John Isner, went a marathon six hours and 36 minutes, with Anderson winning 26-24 in the fifth set.
Why is there a curfew for Wimbledon?
“The 11pm curfew is a planning condition applied to balance the consideration of the local residents with the scale of an international tennis event that takes place in a residential area,” Wimbledon organisers said in 2018.
“The challenge of transport connectivity and getting visitors home safely is also a key consideration.
“The curfew was introduced for the opening of the centre court roof in 2009.”
The addition of the roof made the introduction of the curfew necessary. Previously, sunset around 9:30pm local time made it impossible for play to continue, but lights were added at the same time as the roof, meaning play could continue much later.
Famously, Lleyton Hewitt beat Marcos Baghdatis at the Australian Open in 2008 in a match that finished at 4:33am, having not begun until just before midnight.
When will suspended matches resume at Wimbledon?
Nick Kyrios and Ugo Humbert will be back on Court One on day three of The Championships. They’re scheduled as the second match on court, following the women’s singles match between Elina Svitolina and Alison Van Uytvanck.
The Svitolina vs Van Uytvanck match is scheduled to start at 10pm AEST (1pm Wimbledon time).
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