Timings & Order of Play

10am - The Grounds and debenture areas open daily.
10.30am - Debenture holders' restaurants and bars open.
11am - Play begins on outside courts.
1pm - Play begins on No.1 Court.
1.30pm - Play begins on Centre Court (apart from Finals Weekend when play starts at 2pm). 
Play usually closes approximately 9.00pm on Centre Court and No. 1 Court depending on weather, light and matches state. The curfew is 11.00pm.

The day’s Order Of Play is decided by The Championships’ Referee and is usually announced around 6.00pm the evening before the date of your ticket.
The Order of Play is also publicised on The Championships' website and on our social media channels. The daily order of play is also displayed in the Gate 3 piazza and outside the Debenture Holders' facilities at the north side of Centre Court.

Wimbledon make every effort to provide a first-class programme on No.1 Court, but given its prestige and superior capacity, and a ticket price differential, Centre Court has historically hosted the most attractive matches in each round. During the first seven days of the tournament, Wimbledon aim to schedule at least three Singles matches on Centre and No.1 Court, often followed by Doubles matches if time allows it, but it always has to be borne in mind that if two five-set matches are scheduled which go the full distance to five sets, there may be only two matches that day on that Court. Tickets give the holder no entitlement to view any particular match or round of matches or any particular player.

In the interests of The Championships and of the Wimbledon crowds, and also of domestic and international television and press, every effort is made to put the best players and the best matches on the show courts.
Exciting players with great crowd appeal naturally tend to get the main share of Centre Court in particular, and of No.1 Court, especially when they have a good or close match in prospect. The audiences on Centre Court and No.1 Court, and the much larger audience worldwide watching television, expect to see the top, well-known, players – preferably in great matches.
There can be problems of choice between: (a) matches involving players who are not highly seeded but who are major crowd-pleasers, and (b) matches involving the top-seeded players.

Centre and No.1 Courts are quite different in atmosphere and challenge from all other courts at Wimbledon. The Referee tries to make sure that the top seeds have reasonably similar numbers of appearances on the premier courts before they reach a crucial stage in The Championships. There has to be fairness and justice in the number of appearances of the top seeds on Centre Court and No.1 Court, to avoid unfair familiarity with those courts as between players. A just and fair pattern of appearances is regarded as critical in the world’s premier tennis Championships.
Scheduling the day’s best matches between Centre and No.1 Courts can often be difficult, especially during the later stages of The Championships. Every effort is made to provide a first-class programme on No.1 Court, but there are more spectators on Centre Court, and there is a ticket price differential between them. While the national and worldwide TV audience can of course be shown matches from either court, even internationally there is a special magic attaching to the Centre Court for audiences and the media.

It is difficult to predict the length of some matches, whether best of three/five sets, but it always has to be borne in mind that if two five-set matches are scheduled which go the full distance to five sets on (say) Centre Court, there may be only two matches that day on that Court.

The scale of the task of the Referee and the Order of Play Committee is considerable. In deciding the daily Order of Play, the interests of The Championships, served by attention to the interests of players, spectators, national and international TV, radio and online audiences, and the press, must come first.
The daily scheduling of matches on court has to depend on estimates of the average length of different types of matches, and on general assumptions about the weather.
Every attempt is made to have a balanced mixture of men’s and ladies’ singles, men’s and ladies’ doubles, and mixed doubles, whenever possible, at the appropriate times during the Fortnight. On the Show Courts in particular, every effort is made to provide balanced, competitive matches. Potentially one-sided matches are avoided. Undue preference must not be shown for men’s matches, although certain days are regarded as ladies’ days.
Players in the same sector of the draw have to be progressed on the same day, whenever possible, in order to synchronise programmes throughout the two weeks, to make sure each stage has the requisite number of players available, and to minimise the effects of bad weather.

Singles matches have to be scheduled very carefully within a day’s programme to allow for possible involvement in doubles/mixed doubles later in the day by the same players.
That players have played matches very late the previous day must be taken into account. Also, some allowance may be made under certain circumstances for temporary illness.
The likely length of the daily programme of any particular mixture of matches has to be very carefully considered. Unfinished matches are undesirable and can cause serious problems in scheduling subsequent singles matches, especially during bad weather conditions, and there is also the knock-on effect on involvement in doubles matches.
The availability of players and matches, and the position on other show courts, can also sometimes make alterations unavoidable to evening schedules. Sometimes the considerations of fairness, completion of the events, and the health and interests of the players, will rightly take precedence over the expectations of spectators.
During periods of bad weather, also, the possibility of having to switch matches from court to court has to be considered.

Wimbledon has to be seen to be even-handed and fair, giving due weight to local and national sentiment, and maintaining an international approach. Fairness has to take precedence over sentiment and nationalism. Because this Grand Slam is staged in Britain, some preference may reasonably be given to British players where appropriate, provided this is not outweighed by other factors more crucial to the interests of The Championships (a similar approach is adopted, in respect of home players, at other Grand Slam tournaments).