'Wimbledon has stayed with the original surface and adapted the grass to the modern game. It's the glue that brings the whole event together' Martina Navratilova
For two weeks each summer, Wimbledon becomes the focal point of the sporting universe. Tennis dominates the TV schedules, enjoys blanket media coverage and becomes a major talking point even among non-sports fans. The Championships brings the nation together in a co-celebration of world-class athleticism and traditional British values.
Yet it is all too fleeting. No sooner than the Men's Final is over on the Second Sunday, the players, officials and spectators disperse en masse, gone again for another year. The ATP and WTA tours roll on to other corners of the globe, with newly-formed Wimbledon memories the only real legacy, other than anticipation for next year's event.
Back at SW19, the focus remains unchanged. The end of one Championships effectively signals the start of the next, in terms of laying the foundations for 12 months' time. Preparation begins right away, with full-time staff at the All England Club tasked with delivering another edition of the world's most prestigious tournament. Gardeners, engineers, marketers, administrators - they all work year-round to ensure the tournament runs seamlessly, and that the 13.5-acre venue looks its majestic best when June arrives.
Maintaining 41 grass courts - including 19 used for The Championships - is by no means an easy feat. Each individual lawn requires loving care and attention to prepare it for the annual 13-day pounding each summer. The ground staff adopt a deeply scientific approach to their task, closely monitoring the firmness of the earth, the health of the surface, the length of the grass and its covering on the court. This is a labour of love by anyone's standards.
Logistically it would be far easier - not to mention cheaper and more time-efficient - to simply tear up the lawns and lay hard courts. After all, the US Open was played on grass until 1974 and the Australian Open until 1988. Yet, in the context of Wimbledon, such a move does not bear thinking about. The surface may provide practical challenges, but to sacrifice the turf would rob Wimbledon of its very soul and identity.
Fortunately, care and attention to detail is in the very DNA of the All England Club, which takes great pride in maintaining its long-established traditions and values. Wimbledon has moved with the times in many ways - the Centre Court roof and equality of prize money being two examples - but it retains its fundamental ethos and many charming quirks. The beautiful grass courts are one of them, symbolising Wimbledon's magic both as a sporting venue and a Grand Slam tournament.
Here at Sportsworld, we too recognise the importance of meticulous planning for Wimbledon. As a hospitality agent to The Championships since 1992, we spend 50 weeks of the year making our own preparations. No stone is left unturned in pursuit of perfection, as we strive to deliver the very best VIP experience for guests at the luxurious Fairway Village. As along as the grass keeps growing at SW19, this will be our mission...
Sportsworld VIP packages are now available for Wimbledon 2017. To make a booking for our award-winning hospitality experience, call 0208 971 2966 today.