Wimbledon may be under pressure to adjust the timing of the men’s singles final on Sunday to avoid a clash with the Fifa World Cup summit clash, but eight-time champion Roger Federer isn’t too worried about it.
The All England Club has been asked to rethink its 2 pm (6.30 pm IST) start time for Sunday’s men’s singles final with the football showpiece in Moscow kicking off at 4pm in the UK (8.30 pm IST).
However, Wimbledon chiefs insisted again on Monday that the men’s final will start at its traditional time despite clashing with a potential England World Cup triumph.
Federer, who reached the Wimbledon quarter-finals for the 16th time on Monday and is on course to make the summit clash on Sunday, joked that maybe the World Cup final should move to accommodate the Wimbledon title match.
“I’m more concerned the World Cup final will have issues because the Wimbledon final is going on,” said the eight-time champion, after seeing off France’s Adrian Mannarino in straight sets.
“They’ll hear every point, wow, love-15, 15-30. The players [at the World Cup] are going to look up in the crowd and not understand what’s going on at Wimbledon!
“That’s how important Wimbledon is to me and to us over here. Maybe you should ask the questions over in Russia, how they’re going to feel about Wimbledon being played at the same time.”
Should England defeat Croatia in Wednesday’s semi-final, then the national team will feature in a World Cup final for the first time since lifting the trophy in 1966.
However, All England Club chief executive Richard Lewis said, “It is purely our decision to stay at 2pm. It will stay this year, it will stay next year.” Lewis added that he would have no objection if many of the 15,000 fans inside Centre Court wanted to follow the football on their phones – as long as they did not disturb the players.
“Our attitude is if people aren’t affecting other people’s enjoyment of the tennis because they’ve got it on silent or whatever, or they are listening with an earphone, or whatever, that’s fine,” he said.
With inputs from AFP