Sally Bolton OBE on Wimbledon 2023 We enjoyed a really special Championships


Sally Bolton OBE Reflects on Wimbledon 2023: “A Truly Exceptional Championships

Sally Bolton OBE, the Chief Executive of the All England Club, graciously participated in an exclusive interview with Tennis World USA, during which she delved into the latest installment of Wimbledon.

Throughout the interview, a diverse array of topics was explored, encompassing the victories of two first-time champions, Roger Federer’s memorable return to the Centre Court, the future prospects of the tournament’s facilities, and the significant role played by Her Royal Highness The Princess of Wales as the Patron of the All England Club.

The most recent iteration of Wimbledon undoubtedly etched another illustrious chapter in the annals of tennis history. When asked about her perspective on the tournament’s most remarkable moment, considering both its technical and emotional aspects, Sally Bolton responded, “I believe we all savored an exceptionally unique Championships this year.

We witnessed a record-breaking attendance throughout the fortnight, and despite a few rainy days, each day of the event showcased remarkable matches. I’m particularly thrilled about the new fan experience area we introduced in the Southern Village of the grounds, featuring an innovative viewing experience for the first time. This, in particular, became a beloved highlight for many of our guests.

All England Club© Michael Regan / Staff Getty Images Sport

Marketa Vondrousova achieved a historic milestone as the first unseeded tennis player in the Open Era to secure victory at Wimbledon. The significance of the mental aspect in the 2023 women’s final cannot be understated. “Marketa delivered an extraordinary performance.

Her unwavering focus and determination on the court throughout the final prevented Ons from finding her rhythm. Marketa’s remarkable strength and consistent play undeniably propelled her to claim ownership of that final.

Vondrousova© Julian Finney / Staff Getty Images Sport

The men’s tournament has affirmed Carlos Alcaraz’s readiness to embrace the legacy of the Big 3.

Notably, Jannik Sinner has reached the semifinals, and Holger Rune has made it to the quarterfinals. Can this juncture be considered the transitional phase from the Big 3 Era to the Next Gen Era? “There is undoubtedly a wealth of young talent emerging on both the men’s and women’s fronts.

New rivalries are taking shape, and the future promises to be exceptionally compelling as these budding rivalries and matchups continue to evolve, potentially crowning new champions. Carlos’s impressive performance at Queen’s hinted strongly at his status as a Wimbledon title contender.

However, none of us could have foreseen the sheer quality of tennis and the drama that unfolded in the final. Carlos is unquestionably a deserving Wimbledon Champion, and I am confident that many more Grand Slam titles await him in his promising career.

Sally Bolton© Clive Brunskill / Staff getty Images Sport

Roger Federer’s triumphant return to Wimbledon undoubtedly stood out as one of the tournament’s most emotionally resonant moments.

Can we anticipate the Swiss legend making a return in a guest capacity or some other role for the 2024 edition or in the years to come? “We were thrilled to have Roger return to Centre Court to honor his status as the player with the most Gentlemen’s Singles titles at Wimbledon.

As a valued Member of the All England Club, Roger is perpetually welcome, and I have no doubt that we will have the pleasure of seeing him grace The Championships once again in the future.

Federer© Clive Brunskill / Staff Getty Images Sport

Do you anticipate Rafael Nadal making a return to the Wimbledon lawns for the 2024 edition? “Most importantly, my sincere hope is to witness Rafa’s return to a tennis court, fit and healthy.

If such a return materializes, we would be thrilled to see him grace The Championships next year.”

In your perspective, which three matches from this edition were the most thrilling? “I found the final between Alfie Hewitt and Gordon Reid on No. 1 Court in the Gentlemen’s Wheelchair Doubles competition to be incredibly exhilarating. Their victory was a standout moment, and the electric atmosphere created by the enthusiastic crowd added to its allure.

Furthermore, Elena Svitolina’s remarkable journey to the semi-finals of the Ladies Singles event was a captivating storyline, featuring some truly outstanding matches along the way.

It’s truly inspiring to witness her return to competitive tennis at the highest level, especially considering she welcomed her first child into the world just a few months ago

Patrick Smith / Staff getty Images Sport© Alfie Hewitt and Gordon Reid

Could you provide some insight into upcoming initiatives regarding the facilities and courts at the All England Club? “We are currently wholeheartedly focused on the planning application currently under consideration by local authorities, aiming to secure the future of The Championships by relocating the Qualifying event from its current site in Roehampton to SW19.

This move is intended to enhance the overall experience for players participating in the qualifying matches and to grant more spectators the opportunity to witness these matches. As part of this transformative plan, we also intend to construct a third covered show court, marking a significant advancement for The Championships and aligning us with the standards of other Grand Slam tournaments.

Furthermore, we are committed to enriching the local community by creating a brand-new public park – a unique addition not seen since the London Olympics.”

How significant is it for the All England Club to have Her Royal Highness the Princess of Wales, Kate Middleton, as a Patron, given her profound passion and expertise in tennis? “We are always delighted to extend a warm welcome to Her Royal Highness at the Club.

She serves as an exceptional Patron, and we were truly gratified that she graced us with her presence on three occasions during this year’s Championships.

Sally Bolton Kate Middleton© Patrick Smith / Staff Getty Images Sport


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