Wimbledon 2017: Andy and Jamie Murray add to criticism of courts

Andy Murray criticised the state of the baselines on Centre Court during his win against Fabio Fognini
Andy Murray criticised the state of the baselines on Centre Court during his win against Fabio Fognini

Andy and Jamie Murray have become the latest players to criticise the state of the courts at Wimbledon this year.

France's 12th seed Kristina Mladenovic complained about a "damaged" court in her second-round defeat on Thursday.

Following his four-set win against against Fabio Fognini on Centre Court, Andy Murray said the court conditions were "not as good as previous years", while Jamie added they "weren't good."

Italian Fognini went further, saying they are "really, really bad".

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

Head groundsman Neil Stubley said: "Obviously we're dealing with the extreme heat, which we're not used to every single Championships.

"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."

The first week of last year's tournament was affected by bad weather, with organisers forced to schedule matches on the middle Sunday.

At one point in Friday's third-round match, a return from Fognini bounced on the baseline underneath Andy Murray's racket.

"There's quite a few spots on the court, just behind the baseline and just in front of the baseline, where there are quite big lumps of grass, almost like little divots there, which I don't remember really being the case before," defending champion Murray said.

"I don't think the court is in as good a condition as previous years.

"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."

The 30-year-old is back on Centre Court against Frenchman Benoit Paire on Monday.

And he added: "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."

Kristina Mladenovic
Mladenovic slipped on the court during her three-set defeat

Mladenovic twisted an ankle in the warm-up and damaged a knee during her defeat by American Alison Riske on court 18.

She said both players wanted to stop after only two games "in case something bad happened".

Jamie Murray was knocked out of the men's doubles in the second round on Friday on court 18.

He told the Times: "Wimbledon think they're the best tournament in the world, so they need to be held to those standards, and I don't think that this year the courts were [of] as high a standard as they could have been."

Despite his strong criticism, Fognini agreed that the hot conditions had caused the problem, saying: "They do the best that they can. It's not their fault. I think this year was really sunny days, so the grass is not really good like the last years."

Stubley added: "The players have their reasons why they're saying they're more slippery. I don't know if there's been more slips this year or whether it's just a couple of high-profile ones.

"We listen to players, because their feedback is important. But the data shows to us those courts that are in question are within range of the other courts, and they are within the range of previous years."

Cooler temperatures are forecast for the second week, but there is currently no rain predicted.

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