AELTC groundsman Will writes regular blogs about the development of the courts throughout the year at Wimbledon. Here's his May update...
Week one of The Championships is done! Hasn’t it been just a little bizarre with a lot of top seeds being knocked out early on including Roger Federer (defending champion), Rafa Nadal (two-time champion), Maria Sharapova and Victoria Azarenka. There have been a lot of withdrawls through injury and some great play from lower-ranked players to achieve these knock-outs. All in all it leaves the field quite open on both the men’s and women’s sides of the draw with British hopes in both.
Andy Murray is playing well and has his fourth round match on Monday verses Mikhail Youzhny of Russia on Centre court while on No.1 Laura Robson, who had a massive come back in the third round, will play Kaia Kanepi of Estonia. Hopefully they’ll both win their matches and march on towards Wimbledon glory.
We started the month coming out of a slight rainy spell and so we rolled the courts to re-consolidate the profile of the courts to make sure they were firm enough ready for The Championships. Mowing and marking has been continuing on a regular basis and then the court clean up jobs were carried out just prior to The Championships, this includes edging the courts, cleaning around the sprinkler heads and post sockets. Then in the weeks leading up there were three different spraying programs in operation.
The first was the Primo Maxx program to keep the courts looking pristine with a feed and iron in the mix and strong and dense with the use of primo maxx and amino sorb r. The second is a wetting agent program this helps the court hold moisture down in the profile to keep the plant alive when the weather is hot. The final program is a fungicide put down just before we start covering the courts to help protect them from disease with can occur as the covers create the prefect disease environment.
During the tournament the courts are mown at 8mm every day and marked out daily too. They are swept and cleaned up at the end of play before a small amount of irrigation and then covered over for the night. We have been largely unaffected by rain but there have been a couple of cover pulls during play. Now we hope for a dry second week and a successful British finals weekend. Keep an eye out on the behind the scenes photos I post on twitter and enjoy the rest of the tournament.
To see what Will and the rest of the groundstaff are up to on a daily basis, follow @WimboGroundsman for updates and pictures.