Wimbledon: Roger Federer and former champions celebrate 100 years of Center Court

Roger Federer, pictured with John McEnroe, was received enthusiastically as he left Center Court. This year marks the first time he hasn’t played at Wimbledon since 1997
Location: All England Club dates: June 27-10 July
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Wimbledon marked 100 years of Center Court on Sunday with a musical celebration and a parade of former champions.

Eight-time men’s champion Roger Federer, who will not play this year due to a knee injury, said he hopes to play “one more time” at the famed arena in the future.

“It’s great to be here with all the other champions,” said 40-year-old Federer. “I’ve been lucky enough to play a lot of games on this field.

“It has given me my biggest wins and my biggest losses, and I hope I can come back here again.”

Wimbledon’s stalwart Sir Cliff Richard and British singer Freya Ridings performed for the public on the tournament’s first scheduled mid-Sunday, with guest appearances from a host of famous faces.

Martina Navratilova, who holds the Wimbledon record with nine singles titles, tweeted that she was “appalled” to miss the celebration after contracting Covid-19.

Also in attendance at Wimbledon on Sunday were Covid heroes in the NHS and social care, along with refugees from Ukraine, Afghanistan and Syria who have settled in Merton and Wandsworth.

The Championships moved to its current location on Church Road in 1922, the same year Center Court opened.

Built in just nine months, it is now the sixth largest tennis-specific stadium in the world, with a capacity of 14,979.

John McEnroe and Sue Barker
Sunday’s special ceremony was hosted by BBC channels Sue Barker, John McEnroe and Clare Balding. McEnroe paid tribute to Barker, who will retire from her duties as a presenter after this year’s tournament
Sir Cliff Richard
Sir Cliff Richard serenaded Center Court with an A cappella version of Summer Holiday, mimicking his sing-along as the rain fell during the 1996 tournament
Des Lynam
Former BBC presenter Des Lynam was one of the famous faces to attend
Venus Williams (l) and Billie Jean King (r)
Venus Williams and Billie Jean King were among the many former champions in attendance – they have 11 Wimbledon singles titles together
Novak Djokovic (l) and Roger Federer (r)
The tennis legends just kept coming. Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer have won a total of 14 Wimbledon singles titles
Freya Ridings
British singer Freya Ridings closed the ceremony

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