0 Wimbledon 2013: the problem is the tour, not the surface

Have you ever heard so many complaints? Victoria Azarenka says the Wimbledon courts are not in good condition. Caroline Wozniacki thinks they have been cut longer than usual. Michelle Larcher de Brito, most ridiculously of all, suggests that there was dead grass left on the surface.

Anyone who knows the All England Club will appreciate that this is nonsense. You might as well accuse Rolex, one of the club's sponsors, of supplying clocks with no minute hand.

For a sense of Wimbledon's painstaking preparations, consider that they will not introduce a new fertiliser or piece of machinery to the outside courts until they have trialled it for at least two years on the practice facility. From there, it will gradually creep towards Centre Court but only after regular checks and measures.

In short, this is not the local croquet club. The mower blades will not be set to the wrong height, any more than the keys to Holloway Prison will be left in the locks.

How, then, do we explain the spate of slips and falls in the first three days? As head groundsman Neil Stubley points out, grass courts are a living, breathing organism. You could perhaps suggest that a cold spring, followed by a few days of slightly warmer weather, have drawn a little extra moisture to the surface. But neither Lleyton Hewitt, Roger Federer nor Andy Murray, all of whom have played for many more hours at Wimbledon than Azarenka, have spotted anything out of the ordinary this week.

"The courts are in pristine condition," Jeremy Bates, the former British No1, said. "I'm just not sure how used the modern players are to grass-court tennis."

Read the full article from the Daily Telegraph here

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