As Wimbledon fast approaches, and the grounds maintenance staff start checking the forecast more frequently, we take a look at the statistics behind the grass courts at the Championship
The Grounds are owned by the All England Lawn Tennis Ground plc, and the total area, including the Club's car parks, covers over 42 acres with capacity for 38,500 spectators.
- Head Groundsman - Neil Stubley.
- 16 permanent ground staff. Total of 28 for the period of The Championships.
- 19 Championships grass courts.
- 22 grass practice courts.
- 8 American Clay courts
- 5 indoor courts, two Greenset Velvelux and three Greenset Trophy
Apart from the grass courts, the courts are used all year round by the Club members and LTA-sponsored players. The grass courts are in play from May to September (except Centre Court and other Show Courts which are used only for The Championships). The courts are lent to a number of clubs and organisations, mainly of a national character, for the staging of various events.
- 654 matches played
- 3177 total hours played on all 41 grass courts of The Championships
- 54 million grass plants on Centre Court (rough calculation according to a formula)
- 77 total hours played on Centre Court
- The grass plant itself has to survive in this dry soil. Expert research has again shown that a cut height of 8mm (since 1995) is the optimum for present day play and survival.
- Courts are sown with 100 per cent Perennial Ryegrass (since 2001) to improve durability and strengthen the sward to withstand better the increasing wear of the modern game.
- Independent expert research from The Sports Turf Research Institute in Yorkshire, UK, proved that changing the grass seed mix to 100 per cent perennial ryegrass (previously 70 per cent rye/30 per cent creeping red fescue) would be the best way forward to combat wear and enhance court presentation and performance without affecting the perceived speed of the court.
- Perceived speed of a court is affected by a number of factors such as the general compacting of the soil over time, as well as the weather before and during the event.
- The ball will seem heavier and slower on a cold damp day and conversely lighter and faster on a warm dry day.
- The amount a ball bounces is largely determined by the soil, not the grass. The soil must be hard and dry to allow 13 days of play without damage to the court sub-surface.
- To achieve the required surface of even consistency and hardness, the courts are rolled and covered to keep them dry and firm. Regular measurements are taken to monitor this.
- There have been no changes to the specification of the ball since 1995, when there was a very minimal alteration in compression.
Lines and dimensions
- Total area of grass on each of Centre and No.1 Courts is 41m x 22m.
- Singles Court is length 23.77m (78') x width 8.23m (27').
- Doubles Court is length 23.77m (78') x width 10.97m (36').
- Paint is not used to mark the lines on the court. A transfer wheel marker is used to apply a white compound (500 gallons used yearly) containing titanium dioxide to make it durable.
- All the lines are 50mm wide, except the baselines, which are 100mm.
For more statistics, visit www.wimbledon.com.