Olympic tennis organisers have defended the decision not to have a men’s singles semi-final on Court One on Friday amid anger from ticket holders.
The tickets state there would be one men’s and one women’s singles semi on both Centre Court and Court One. But only the match between Maria Sharapova and Maria Kirilenko will be played on the latter, with the Roger Federer/Juan Martin Del Potro and Andy Murray/Novak Djokovic clashes on Centre along with Serena Williams against Victoria Azarenka.
Clare Wood, the sport manager for tennis, blamed the rain that has put the tournament behind schedule. A statement read: “As stated on the London 2012 website: ‘All Games schedules advertised were correct as of Monday, July 16 2012. They, however, can change between this date and the date of competition.’ Ticket holders are advised of this.”
It went on: “The schedule for today was decided in conjunction with LOCOG and the ITF (International Tennis Federation) referee, with the players’ best interests in mind to complete all events on time.
“The decision to play three semi-finals on Centre Court was based on the following factors:
” – We are currently a day behind in the doubles events, consequently we have four matches on Court Two today, which were not originally planned.
” – Playing at least three semi-finals on Centre Court ensures completion as the roof can be deployed in the event of more inclement weather.
” – Four of the players on Centre Court (Victoria Azarenka, Juan Martin Del Potro, Andy Murray and Serena Williams) are still involved in a doubles competition and this gives us the best chance of keeping the programme on schedule.”
Court One ticket holders do at least have the consolation of seeing Murray in action later when he and Laura Robson play their mixed doubles quarter-final against Australia’s Lleyton Hewitt and Sam Stosur.
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