Wimbledon roof splits opinion
A structure that was originally designed to ward off the terrible British weather divided opinion among Novak Djokovic and Rafa Nadal after it was employed in two contrasting matches with barely a raindrop in sight.
After No 2 seed Rafa Nadal was bundled out of the tournament on Thursday with the Centre Courtcovering in place against little known Czech Lukas Rosol, it was Djokovic's turn on Friday to play under the lights.
Unlike the Mallorcan battler, however, the Serb seems to like playing under cover and dispatched Rosol's compatriot Radek Stepanek 4-6 6-2 6-2 6-2 to prove the point.
In both matches, however, rain was not the reason for the massive mechanical structure being wheeled into place.
It was moved across in the early evening gloom to allow Nadal to finish his second-round encounter, much to the Mallorcan's annoyance, and remained in place for Djokovic's third-round clash against Stepanek.
The defending champion, who also played his previous match under cover, confessed to being slightly bemused as there was clear sky and pale sunlight when the players came out on court, but he was told a patchy forecast meant it would be staying in place.
"You cannot affect the weather," he told reporters.
"Today we got to the court, they closed the roof, and then we saw sunshine and clear blue sky. But the rule is you cannot open the roof when it is closed. That's what I was told...
"I was a little bit surprised when I saw sunshine that the roof is closed. But obviously they're relying on the forecast that I don't think is very reliable here.
"This is an outdoor tournament, so I think everybody wants to play when the roof is open... It was exciting to be playing in a closed roof."
It was a very different story for Nadal who, after winning the fourth set to level the match in the early evening twilight, was unhappy when he was told there would be a long delay while the roof was hauled into place.
What followed will go down in Wimbledon folklore as he was sent crashing out in one of the biggest tennis shocks in living memory.
"For sure wasn't the best one for me," Nadal told reporters after Thursday's match. "But that's what it is and I accept.
"I was surprised because it takes 30 to 45 minutes. I was very surprised for that. My feeling was is completely new stadium with new roof, so the normal thing is cover the roof in five, 10 minutes. That was my thought."
Djokovic was sympathetic to Nadal's plight, but said the Mallorcan had allowed himself to get distracted by the issue.
"It's hard to judge because there are rules that have been there for years," Djokovic said.
"It's not on us to decide if the roof is going to be open or closed.
"From a player's perspective, I think it's really important that people from organisation and everybody take the opinion of the player very seriously.
"It's really hard to say. Rafa knew what's best for him. Obviously it distracted him a little bit because he was playing well in that fourth set...
"That's what happened. I mean, because of the lights, because of the weather - I'm not really sure; I wasn't there on the court - but it certainly made a difference in the momentum change. He made a crucial break at the start of the fifth and then served it out."
Djokovic ended his match against Stepanek in swashbuckling form, driving rasping winners past his opponent off both flanks with regularity.
It had not started that way, however. It looked like the tennis gods were about to repeat a trick as the Czech was rampaging round court with the bit between his teeth in the opening set, reviving memories of Nadal's demise.
Stepanek, however, is a very different type of player to Rosol, whose firecracker forehand was exploding winners left, right and centre against a bemused Nadal.
Djokovic eventually upped his level to nullify the 33-year-old's serve and volley game and set up a match against fellow Serbian Viktor Troicki in the last 16.