Wimbledon Olympic turnaround could be ‘chaotic’

Officials admit the period between the Grand Slam and the Olympics at SW19 will be "very busy"

Sportsbeat
By Sportsbeat
wimbledon centre court
Less than 3 weeks will separate Wimbledon and the Olympic tennis tournament Photo: Tr!ckster, via Flickr

wimbledon centre court

All England Club officials are predicting the turnaround between next year’s Wimbledon Championships and the London 2012 Olympics will be “somewhat chaotic”.

New Wimbledon chairman Philip Brook, speaking to the Lawn Tennis Writers’ Association, claimed the club was ‘on track’ but admitted the tight timescales are testing his organisation’s trademark precision planning.

Restoring the grass in just 20 days is the major challenge and veteran groundsman Eddie Seward, who has delayed his retirement to manage the Olympic project, has experimented with pre-germinated seeds to ensure the manicured lawns look pristine.

“In terms of overall planning for the event, things are going smoothy,” Brook told the Sports Journalists’ Association website.

“In the period between The Championships and the Olympics, it will be very busy and somewhat chaotic.

“The issue is one of presentation, to play good tennis on. We have conducted an experiment with pre-germinated grass seed, how long the new grass will last is questionable.”

Twelve of Wimbledon’s 19 courts will be used for Olympic competitions, with the remainder dedicated to practice.

And unlike The Championships, players will be allowed to wear their national team colours, rather than the traditional white.

Organisers Locog are also planning to introduce music to key matches and will swap Wimbledon’s traditional green and purple colour scheme for their own branding, including their controversial logo.

Locog sports director Debbie Jevans, who also sits on the All England Club committee, has previously admitted her determination that the Olympic tennis competition—which has totally sold out—will not end up as a “Championships Part II”.

© Sportsbeat 2011

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