Wimbledon
Championships

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Services

Project summary

  • Sports surface design
  • Benchmarking audits
  • Site assessments
  • Technical grounds maintenance
  • Event support
  • Agronomic services
  • Product/systems development
  • Product/solution testing
  • Grass seed testing
  • Research and development
  • Data analytics
  • Sports construction materials testing
  • Soil testing
  • Ecology and biodiversity

STRI has a long and successful relationship with the All England Lawn Tennis Club (AELTC), spanning over half a century. Our work with the club began on an advisory basis, with significant development in the early 1990s, when the first Championship surveys were completed. The Championship surveys have grown over the years to include daily measurements of surface characteristics on all match courts, qualifying and practise courts. Consultancy services are provided to the club throughout the year to provide additional support to their grounds team.

Tennis trials, funded by the All England Club, are designed to benefit grass court tennis as a whole. Research into cultivar selection for tennis, rootzones, hybrid turf, supplementary lighting and many different product tests have been completed or are ongoing at our research facilities in Yorkshire.

the
challenge

High profile sports tournaments, such as The Championships, require optimum playing surfaces at all times. Wimbledon is arguably the most high-profile, annual sporting event in the world and expectations are high.  Quality playing surfaces are essential to the success of the event.

Consistency is key to providing good surfaces. Court surfaces should be consistent across the site each year and be consistent with previous Championships. Data collected by STRI over the last 30 years demonstrates that has been achieved.

Practise and qualifying courts should also display similar surface characteristics to match courts, to ensure that players who move from qualifying to practise to main draw are confident in the surfaces they are playing on.

Match courts need to be able to withstand a high amount of traffic, with 14 consecutive days of action. Centre court gets a huge 85 hours of play in a 2-week window during the Championships. As a comparison, a Premier League pitch might see around 40 hours of play (including cup competitions) across a full season.

the
solution

Regular visits to monitor courts and take measurements of surface characteristics are conducted throughout the year. These measurements increase in frequency and intensity as The Championships draw nearer.

In May of each year, a botanical survey is completed on the grass courts. This evaluates the weed grass content of courts, usually very low, and provides information that helps to tailor renovation programmes for each court at the end of the season.

During the event and final preparations, measurements of surface characteristics such as surface hardness, ball rebound, live grass cover, soil moisture and NDVI are made each day by our team who are on site for the duration of the competition. This data is summarised and passed on to the grounds team to inform their management of courts.

the
results

  • Produced world-class tennis courts for elite players
  • Consistently improving surfaces for over 50 years
  • STRI research has helped to build more grass courts by making the process easier, as well as aiding the ease of maintenance
  • Our work has directly resulted in new sites, with experimental courts at Raynes Park designed as a result of research conducted on hybrid vs. traditional grass tennis courts
  • Working closely with the AELTC, STRI is currently conducting trials at our research facility in Australia to replicate our work for grass tennis in the UK with warm season grasses to benefit the sport in warmer climates

let’s start our conversation today

If you’ve got a question, or would like us to help you with a project, we’d love to hear from you. Complete the form, give us a call or come and see us.