London: Wimbledon organizers are pushing back the start date for the Grand Slam tournament by one week from 2015 in order to prolong the grass-court season and give players more time to recover from the French Open.
The All England Club announced the change on Thursday, saying in a statement that it will "benefit the sport as a whole by creating a three-week gap between the French Open and Wimbledon."
The scheduling change will give players one extra week to recover from Roland Garros and get used to the change from a slow surface to a fast one.
"The best interests of tennis will be served by allowing the players more time to recuperate and to adjust from the clay of Roland Garros to the grass at Wimbledon," All England Club chairman Philip Brook said. "All our research indicates that there is widespread support within the game for extending the gap between the French Open and Wimbledon and, importantly, we think most players will welcome the prospect of a longer grass-court season and spending more time on the softer surface of grass."
In 2015, the tournament will run from June 29 to July 12.
At this year's Wimbledon, which started on June 25, several players expressed support for the idea of pushing the tournament back.
"It would give especially the top players a little bit more time to get used to the surface," Novak Djokovic said during the tournament. "Logically speaking, it is the slowest surface that we're talking about " clay " moving to the fastest one, which takes time. Over the years we all had to adjust."
Lleyton Hewitt, the 2002 Wimbledon winner, said "the grass-court season has always been too short."
The change to the Wimbledon schedule will mean other tournaments may have to change their dates as well, which is part of the reason the All England Club is waiting until 2015.
"We recognize that there will be some important consequences for the overall tennis calendar and enough time needs to be given to allow us all to plan accordingly," Brook said. "In anticipation of the work required, I would like to thank our colleagues throughout the game for their enthusiasm and support for the vision of a tennis calendar that will better suit the needs of the modern day sport."