'Don't blame courts for players' tumbles'

2017-07-10 17:57
Wimbledon Centre Court (File)

London - Wimbledon's courts are playing as well as ever and there is nothing unusual in the slipping and sliding that disrupted some matches in the tournament's first week, the head of All England Lawn Tennis Club said on Monday.

Conditions this year have been hotter and drier than usual, and some players have questioned the quality of the surface.

World No 1 Andy Murray spoke on Friday of "almost like little divots" appearing on Centre Court while French player Kristina Mladenovic found fault with Court 18, hours after American Bethanie Mattek-Sands seriously injured her knee on Court 17.

All England club chairman Richard Lewis said a first week virtually uninterrupted by rain showed the importance of the traditional rest day in the middle of the tournament, when housekeeping is done on the surface.

"One of the things this year has proved is the value of middle Sunday. That when you have a full schedule of play and very good weather the courts benefit from a rest," he told a small group of reporters.

Groundstaff have also taken extra steps to protect the turf from the blazing sun, including closing the Centre Court roof before play on Friday, and the courts were now playing as well as ever.

"We are very happy with the courts. We are 100 percent confident in them...," Lewis said. "I had a look at Centre Court yesterday and I think it was as good as I have ever seen it."

So are the players' complaints unjustified?

"We respect the players' views. Players in the heat of battle will have their views," said Lewis.

"In the end all we can go by is what we go by every year. The groundstaff have won awards over the years, there is a reason for that ... I haven't seen many players slipping... I haven't seen many players fall" this year.

Read more on:    wimbledon 2017  |  tennis


Read News24’s Comments Policy

Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights


Which is your favourite Grand Slam of the year?

Love 2 Meet
English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...


The 2018/19 Absa Premiership season is in full swing. Will Mamelodi Sundowns retain their title? Or can one of Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates, Wits, SuperSport United - or another team perhaps - snatch glory from the Brazilians? Be sure to visit Sport24 for all the latest news!

Latest blogs

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.