Through a statement, Wimbledon announced several changes for the future of the tournament. Gerry Armstrong will replace Andrew Jarrett as Referee Designate from 2020 to 2023. Jarrett will have his last year as Referee in 2019 Championships.
During an officiating career spanning 46 years, Armstrong has umpired 13 Championships Finals at Wimbledon, including four Gentlemen’s Singles Finals and four Ladies’ Singles Finals. He has subsequently held the positions of Assistant Referee (2007-present), Qualifying Referee (2012-present) and Wheelchair Referee (2014-present).
Also announced today were a series of operational enhancements, effective from The Championships 2019 onwards. Firstly, following a successful invitation doubles event in 2018, Quad Wheelchair Singles and Doubles events will be staged at The Championships, joining the Gentlemen’s and Ladies’ Wheelchair Singles and Doubles.
The events will be a knockout format open to men’s and women’s Quad Wheelchair competitors. From 2019 onwards, play on "secondary" courts", it means all the courts expect Centre and No. 1, will start at 11:00 AM instead of 11:30 so that all the matches get completed in the daytime.
Like previous years, matches on Centre and No. 1 courts will start at 1:00 PM, while at 2:00 PM on the Centre Court for the women's and singles finals. Gentlemen's and ladies' Singles qualifying draws will feature 128 players.
'We are pleased to be making a series of announcements in order to give our competitors, stakeholders and spectators ample time to prepare ahead of next year’s Championships', said Richard Lewis, AELTC chief. 'We are delighted to be introducing Quad Wheelchair Singles and Doubles events, providing the Quad Wheelchair competitors with the opportunity to compete at Wimbledon.
We are also pleased to be confirmed two significant operational decisions in staging two 128 singles draws for the Gentlemen’s and Ladies’ Qualifying, and in moving the start of play time forwards by half an hour.
Lastly, the AELTC would like to record its sincere thanks to Andrew Jarrett, who, as our long-standing Championships Referee, has provided us with notice of his intention to retire following The Championships 2019. This has allowed us to appoint Gerry Armstrong as his successor and enable a considerable and important period of handover.' ALSO READ: Rafael Nadal: Worse players than David Ferrer won a Grand Slam title