Centre Court, one of the most famous tennis courts in the world, has had the most active summer in its history since 1908. Taking centre stage for all 13 days of The Championships, and used up to five times a day on one occasion thanks to the summer's rather inclement weather, the court was given three weeks to recover before being employed for nine days of the Olympic tennis event. With four matches a day taking place on Wimbledon's flagship court, by the end of July, the court was desperately in need of its annual make-over, known in groundstaff’s language as ‘renovation’.
The court is first weed-killed, which takes a week to take effect, and then the renovation programme begins, growing the grass from scratch. The grass is shaved off the court, and the grass seed is re-planted. The grass is allowed to grow and thicken, and then roughly five-to-six weeks later the grass is dressed with five-to-six tonnes of soil to correct the nutrient levels.
The courts are then 'put to bed' and cut and managed over the winter months, keeping the air in the surface, and making sure they have enough food to last them for the winter.
The same process is also being performed on No.1 Court, No.2 Court and No.3 Courts, and will take place on the rest of the courts once the grass court season concludes in September.