Murray Mount closed over health and safety fears

Caroline Cassidy

Tennis fans and Wimbledon regulars are well-known for their patient queuing but there was bad news yesterday for those who went armed with umbrellas and flasks ready to cheer on British hope Andy Murray.

Wimbledon Murray Mount closed
Wimbledon Murray Mount closed

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On day one of the rain-soaked tournament those hoping to view Murray's first game on the big screen from the relative discomfort of Murray Mount (formerly Henman Hill) were denied the opportunity thanks to health and safety fears.

While Andy Murray won his the game against Spaniard Daniel Gimeno-Traver under the new Centre Court roof, the big screen outside was blanked out and the area closed for fear that spectators could injure themselves on the slippery grass slope.

The move caused fury amongst fans, many of whom insisted they would be happy to risk a twisted ankle.

Wimbledon spokesman Johnny Perkins explained to the decision, telling the Daily Mail: "This is the first time we have had to shut off the big screen as this is the first time the roof has been used in these conditions.

"Previous to the roof, of course there would hae been no play to watch on Centre anyway if it was rained off. The hill has been closed because of the slippery nature of the grass while it is so wet.

"It is a health and safety issue. We just can't have people slipping and sliding and falling off the thing and breaking their ankles."

Mr Perkins added that the screen would remain switched off as long as the conditions remained potentially dangerous. And with plenty of rain forecast for the week to come, it looks like thousands could be disappointed.

What do you think? Health and safety gone mad or a sensible reaction given the trend for 'no win, no fee' legal cases? Leave your comments below...