But now that it’s operational, the roof has brought mighty relief to those who find it difficult to stay patient with the English weather.
The roof is a massive structure, and weighs 1,000 tonnes covering 5,200 square metres. The holding fabric device design is in two sections. The fabric is strong, flexible and translucent to help provide light and an airy feel. The height of the roof from the ground is 16 metres.
With modern technology the roof has been designed to maintain pre-existing levels of light and air to the court when the roof is open, and when closed.
An air management system removes condensation from within the area to provide good court surface conditions. Generally, the roof takes between eight to 10 minutes to close, but once that’s done it’s back to action for the enthusiasts.
As the competition enters its second week, one man whose absence is being bitterly felt is Roger Federer. In his prime the Swiss virtually owned SW19 and his seven titles are testimony to that fact.
Nevertheless, fans who were accustomed to his reassuring presence are now wondering whether he will ever return to the championships with the tag of favourite. Federer’s insistence that he has many more years to go would have soothed his die-hard followers, but for most of us the doubts remain.