Wimbledon chief defends state of courts

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Wimbledon 2017: Courts are ‘as good as they’ve ever been’
Wimbledon 2017 on the BBC
Venue: All England Club Dates: 3-16 July Starts: 11:30 BST
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Wimbledon’s chief executive says the courts at the All England Club are “as good as they’ve ever been” following criticism of their condition.

Several players have complained about the courts including Andy Murray, who said they were not “in as good a condition as previous years”.

Temperatures reached 30C in the first week at Wimbledon, with little rain.

‘I haven’t seen anything in the first week that concerned me at all,” Richard Lewis said.

“I respect that some players have expressed concerns – but they’re in the heat of battle, they’re in the heat of the tournament and sometimes players have their views.

“From my point of view, I haven’t seen anything that has raised my eyebrows.”

Following his third-round win against against Fabio Fognini on Centre Court on Friday, Murray said: “The court, when I played the first match, was great. I think it’s just getting a bit beaten up early.

“A few of the players have said that about some of the outside courts as well.

“I don’t know if it’s anything to do with the weather that they’ve had over the last few weeks and months. It’s been pretty hot, pretty extreme conditions. Not much rain.”

Italian Fognini went further, stating the courts were “really, really bad”.

Defending champion Murray is back on Centre Court on Monday, when he plays Frenchman Benoit Paire in the fourth round.

Mladenovic slipped on Court 18 during her three-set defeat

French 12th seed Kristina Mladenovic also complained about a “damaged” court after suffering ankle and knee injuries during her second-round loss to American Alison Riske on Thursday.

Head groundsman Neil Stubley said last week that they were having to deal with “extreme heat” which they were “not used to every single Championships”.

He added: “There’s not a doubt in our minds that the courts will be as good as they need to be for the end of the Championships.”

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