The Sheffield firm behind the retractable roof at Wimbledon

Daniel Evans (GBR) in action in the third round of the Gentlemen's Singles under the No.1 Court roof. The Championships 2019. Held at The All England Lawn Tennis Club, Wimbledon. Day 6 Saturday 06/07/2019. Credit: AELTC/Simon Bruty
Daniel Evans (GBR) in action in the third round of the Gentlemen's Singles under the No.1 Court roof. The Championships 2019. Held at The All England Lawn Tennis Club, Wimbledon. Day 6 Saturday 06/07/2019. Credit: AELTC/Simon Bruty
0
Have your say

It weights 1,000 tonnes and takes eight and half minutes to roll out.

And this year it made its debut at the All England Tennis Club at Wimbledon, allowing play at No.1 Court to continue in the event of the great British weather intervening.

The retractable roof at No.1 Court is the work of Sheffield-based engineering firm SCX and it had it first run out during this year’s championships.

It is the second roof that SCX Special Projects has delivered to Wimbledon, having engineered the original Centre Court roof in 2009.

The retractable roof can also be used as a gantry for overhead lights.

Richard Lewis, chief executive of the AELTC, said the technology had enhanced the tournament’s offering.

He said: “We are delighted that the No.1 Court roof has been successfully used on several occasions, which has enabled us to complete matches that otherwise may have been suspended due to bad light.

“The feedback we have had from players and members of the public about the refurbished No.1 Court has been extremely positive.”

The No.1 Court roof was closed fully for the first time because of fading light during the women’s singles match between Donna Vekic and Alison Riske.

It marked 10 years, almost to the day, since SCX’s pioneering retractable roof over Centre Court was first used, on 29 June 2009, in another women’s match between Amélie Mauresmo and Dinara Safina.

Andy Whitworth, SCX Special Projects managing director, said: “2019 has been a very proud year for SCX at Wimbledon.

“It’s a huge privilege to design, build and install a second roof for AELTC at one of the world’s most prestigious sporting venues.

“The No.1 Court project demonstrates our capability to deliver unique engineering solutions on a world stage.”

The concertina-style roof is built using 11 trusses that span the 75-metre width of the stadium.

The trusses are divided into two groups, both of which can travel independently to any position as required. The trusses are stored at the north end of No.1 Court when not in use, leaving the south end of the stadium open to natural sunlight to help the grass courts grow.

SCX Special Projects specialises in bespoke mechanical handling solutions and is known around the world for its work not only at Wimbledon, but also for creating the first dividing retractable grass football pitch, which made its debut at Premier League side Tottenham Hotspur’s new £850m stadium in May.