USTA Mid-Atlantic scored an exclusive interview with a grounds crew source from the All England Lawn Tennis Club (AELTC) and learned the iconic Wimbledon Championships will usher in a new era of grass court tennis – an era of artificial and edible turf.
According to the source close to USTA Mid-Atlantic, AELTC will work with TurfAstro, a leading manufacturer, distributor and installer of top quality artificial grass products. TurfAstro will be the featured playing surface at the 2017 Championships.
“Unlike the other grand slams, where day one playing surface to day 14 is the same, players here have to battle between the play on the other side of the net and the court,” said an unnamed Wimbledon grounds crew insider in an interview with USTA MAS. “Wimbledon has many storied traditions, but we’re prepared to cut this one.”
The challenges of maintaining the pristine grass courts at the All England Club are abound. Already at the whim of Mother Nature, the grounds crew has to contend with the ugly baseline style of play that dominates the modern game, destroying the back of the court.
Serve-and-volley tennis is essentially dead. Top players such as Roger Federer and Serena Williams have the serve-and-volley in their repertoire, but a true serve-and-volleyer has not won Wimbledon in this century. Gone are the beautiful glory days of serve-and-volley tennis when Marina Martina, Boris Becker, and Stefan Edberg reigned at Wimbledon.
“The courts will look much better during broadcast without the players wearing out the baseline, creating patches of hard, brown dirt as the tournament progresses,” says another Wimbledon insider. “Plus they’ll be able to have a snack right on the court should long matches ensue.”
Instead of a traditional crumb rubber infill, TurfAstro also incorporates ABSORBS, a new product made of organic material and safe for athletes to eat. ABSORBS ability to retain water also helps reduce the slipperiness and delivers an exceptional playing surface designed for high use.
USTA Mid-Atlantic has obtained several samples of ABSORBS that will be made available for players to taste test at various JTT and Adult League Championships throughout the summer of 2017.
Roland Garros did not respond to requests for comment when asked if they will be switching to synthetic clay for 2018.
APRIL FOOLS! USTA Mid-Atlantic hopes you enjoyed our attempt at satire! We have in no way heard of any surface changes at Wimbledon. What do you think edible turf would taste like anyway? Strawberries and Cream maybe?