During a press conference on Friday, Wimbledon tournament director Jamie Baker addressed concerns regarding the condition of the grass courts at the Grand Slam event. Despite several high-profile falls that occurred during the first week of the tournament, Baker reassured that the grass courts were “good and grippy.”
Notable incidents included Andy Murray’s slip on Centre Court during his second-round match against Stefanos Tsitsipas. Murray fell heavily but managed to recover and win the set. Venus Williams also experienced a fall in her first-round defeat to Elina Svitolina, aggravating her pre-existing knee injury. Novak Djokovic’s match was delayed due to a damp court, raising concerns among players about the playing surface. Alize Cornet also slipped on the Centre Court turf during her match but continued playing with strapping.
Despite these incidents, Baker stated that the players had not expressed significant concerns about the state of the grass at Wimbledon. He expressed satisfaction with the surface, considering it to be as good and grippy as he could remember in the early part of the tournament. While there had been a few slips, Baker emphasized that they were not overly prevalent. He noted that slips could occur at any stage of the tournament, even in the final, particularly due to the frequent use of the retractable roof.
Baker also addressed the issue of the curfew at Wimbledon, citing the suspension of Murray’s match against Tsitsipas due to the approaching 10:00 PM curfew. He stated that officials would not alter the policy on start times to ensure earlier finishes during the Grand Slam. However, he emphasized that the curfew issue was constantly under review. Baker explained that decisions regarding scheduling and tennis-related matters aimed to avoid knee-jerk reactions based on isolated matches and instead considered a three-year perspective to assess the overall situation. He acknowledged the disappointment of the previous day’s incidents but indicated that if data showed such occurrences were infrequent, the current approach would be deemed acceptable.