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McEnroe, Navratilova To Play Wimbledon Celebration

Former world No. 1 players will raise the roof on Wimbledon's No. 1 Court celebration next month.

John McEnroe, Martina Navratilova and Lleyton Hewitt will join fellow Wimbledon champion Goran Ivanisevic and other prominent male and female players in exhibition matches on Sunday, May 19th marking the first official deployment of the new retractable roof over No. 1 Court. 

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The No.1 Court Celebration will feature three exhibition matches and music from Paloma Faith and Joseph Calleja, supported by the BBC Concert Orchestra and the Grange Park Opera chorus.

Starting in 2016, the No.1 Court remodeling has been a complex three-year build.

In addition to a new fixed and retractable roof, it has an increased capacity from 11,432 to 12,345; the replacement of all seats inside the stadium for improved spectator comfort; 15 refurbished hospitality suites; a two-level walled garden public plaza; and a living wall either side of the big screen facing Aorangi Terrace.

All England Club officials report a central consideration of the redesign was to ensure that "the right shape of roof opening was created to maximize the natural light levels on the court to support the growth of the grass, while also trying to give a curved feel to the stadium to reflect the historic circular design of the No.1 Court."

A portion of ticket proceeds from the exhibition will be donated to the charities nominated by the participating players, and to “A Roof For All”, a new fund for the homeless set up by the Wimbledon Foundation to help support charities in the local area and across London as they tackle this growing social need.

The Foundation is running an online auction with 50 prizes including tennis memorabilia and special experiences that will run until Monday, May 20th.

Photo credit: Wimbledon Facebook