Night tennis raising the roof at Wimbledon
When Wimbledon changes, it likes to do so slowly and with sufficient deference to tradition that most casual observers never notice.
Which is why the decisive intervention of the Centre Court roof in this year's tournament is creating such a stink in the normally refined SW19 air.
All three of the most dramatic matches in the first week owed their ending and atmosphere to the 1,000 tonne lid on the famous old arena: Rafa Nadal's stunning second-round defeat by Lukas Rosol, Roger Federer's five-set comeback over Julien Benneteau and Andy Murray's late-night dash past Marcos Baghdatis.
Had it simply been raining in south-west London, the story would have slipped away there. That the roof came over in two of those cases because of bad light, and in the third at midday despite play continuing uninterrupted on all other courts, has put the All-England Club in something of a pickle.
Murray's match against Baghdatis finished just after the 11pm deadline on Saturday
Its own guidelines offer limited assistance. Section (a) of the Club's published roof protocol appears almost deliberately vague.
"The Championships is an outdoor daytime event. Therefore, in good weather, the roof will only be used if it is too dark to play on without it."
If that seems contradictory, the confusion does not end there. On Saturday night we had the curious sensation of Cinderella coming to Centre as Murray tried desperately to rattle through the decisive set before the church towers chimed 11.
Court-side there was bewilderment. Why was the cut-off time 11pm? How much wriggle-room would the officials allow? Why start if there was no chance of a finish?
Richard Lewis, chief executive AELTC, confirmed to the BBC on Monday the roof's original planning permission required play to end by that time.
"We are based in a residential area," he explained. "There are safety issues - transport has to be available at Southfields Station. We don't want 15,000 people stranded there.
"There was some communication with the local authority (Merton Council) on Saturday. It was relatively informal.
Centre Court stands out like a beacon when play goes into the evening
"We didn't have to bring the players off the moment the clock ticked from 10.59pm to 11pm; the aim was to stop the game at the fairest possible time for the players. 11pm is the definitive cut-off time and then we bring players off the court as fairly as possible."
Privately, Lewis is probably aware that Baghdatis's sudden capitulation saved him an even bigger headache. Had the match been suspended at such a critical point we may have witnessed the most middle-class riot in sporting history.
All three late-night matches created an atmosphere very different from the usual restrained Centre Court ambiance - boisterous, well refreshed, partisan in the extreme.
Many of the original ticket-holders had gone home, replaced by frantic fans that had queued all day at the re-sale booth on the back end of Henman Hill and enjoyed plenty of refreshment while doing so.
As with the denouement of Nadal's shock defeat, it created something rather special - an audience befitting such thrilling sporting theatre - as well as the scheduling of fantasy for television executives.
So should this signal the start of regular late-night sessions on Centre?
Both the US Open and Australian Open have held night matches for years; the French Open will do the same from 2017, when its own roof over Court Philippe Chatrier is complete.
Perhaps, goes one argument, Wimbledon should look for a solution at the other end of the day and follow the example of its cricketing cousin in St John's Wood by starting play on the show courts closer to the 11am of Lord's, rather than the current 1pm.
Lewis is unconvinced. "I think it's extremely unlikely that we would schedule night sessions at Wimbledon," he says.
"You take somewhere such as Melbourne - that's a city-centre location. Most people drive to the US Open.
"Early starts are a possibility. But we do get complaints from people travelling from all over the country who can't get here for a 1pm start.
"You've also got the situation where there is wear and tear on the court. And Centre Court is the one which is subject to more play than any other. We play on grass; it's a natural surface but there is wear and tear."
Lewis is being a little cute. If a spectator's journey is so long that they can only get to Wimbledon for 1pm, they're unlikely to be able to stay until 11.02pm, when Murray finally polished off Baghdatis.
It could be argued the later start is less about convenience and more about corporate. Test cricket has a 40-minute break for lunch and 20 minutes for tea built into its rhythm. Tennis does not, so corporate entertainment must create its own time.
There is another problem with Lewis's argument.
The All England Club might say they won't schedule night sessions, but by putting Murray on Centre under the lights at 7.30pm they were in effect doing exactly that.
A precedent has also been set that spectators now expect to see maintained. On Monday, with the roof on, the day's play was curtailed at 8pm despite Murray's match being unfinished, several other big ones yet to start and both conditions and crowd perfectly set for tennis.
From the players too there is a desire for clarity.
Nadal hinted heavily after his defeat to Rosol that the 40-minute delay to close the roof after he won the fourth set had cost him precious momentum. Murray went further, and said that Wimbledon's decision to have the roof shut all day on Friday was something "they might have made a mistake on".
The Briton also concedes that his status as home favourite may give him an additional advantage.
While his fourth-round match against Marin Cilic on Monday was on Court No.1 - and inevitably delayed by rain - his first three were on Centre, as will be any subsequent contests.
The roof allowed Murray to get his match finished on Saturday where others were delayed, giving him precious extra rest.
"Other years I would have had to play three sets on Monday," he admitted. "Cilic played 17-15 in the fifth set. I'm sure he would have rather I was having to play three sets on Monday before playing him."
Neither does the court behave in quite the same way. The Wimbledon surface has got noticeably slower over the past five years; under the roof and lights, that trend is even more noticeable.
We may have to get used to it.
The weather for the rest of this week is forecast to stay wet and grey. British summers are increasingly reliably unreliable. And Lewis, intriguingly, may have controversial ideas about how to cope with them.
"A roof on Court One is under consideration," he admitted to the BBC, "although it's not as straight-forward as you might think."
For Wimbledon in this soggy summer, very little is.