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Report: Wimbledon uses retractable roof

May 17, 2009 at 5:21 PM
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LONDON, May 17 (UPI) -- The new retractable roof at Wimbledon's Center Court was used for the first time Sunday during actual matches, the BBC reported.

The roof was closed with rain falling and a crowd of 15,000 spectators watching Andre Agassi, his wife Steffi Graf, Tim Henman and Kim Clijsters play mixed doubles and singles matches, the broadcaster said.

The roof was built to limit the frequent rain delays that occur at the Wimbledon Championships each season.

"So often do we just wait around (during rain delays)," said five-time Wimbledon champion Roger Federer in a video message from Madrid, where he beat Rafael Nadal in the final at the Madrid Open. "For me, it's nice to see that Wimbledon is taking such a big step in the right direction."

"I think the court plays really well, there's no problem with the roof or anything," said Clijsters after she and England's Henman won the opening mixed doubles.

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