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Neil Stubley

Wimbledon’s Head Groundsman

Wimbledon is home to the world’s most iconic grass courts, sporting rich, lush green grass, which is tended to with masterful skill. These courts must, after all, satisfy the strict standards of the globe’s leading tennis players.

 

Special care, unquestionable professionalism and absolute commitment are required in order to meet these expectations. As such, they are traits Wimbledon’s Head Groundsman simply cannot lack. Today, we’re chatting with Neil Stubley, who has the honour and responsibility of covering that role.

 

It’s a cold, damp day – good for the grass perhaps, but the low temperatures make Neil long for a warm, comforting drink. The delicious Mocha we prepare for him, with its creamy foam and sprinkle of chocolate, does the trick.

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“I’m in charge of all the grass courts, here, as well as of the teams that work on them,” he tells us. “We make sure that the players are happy and that the courts play consistently.”

 

Succeeding in these tasks requires hard work and unfaltering dedication. “We cut the grass every single day,” says Neil, “we then mark the lines back out so they’re nice and bright, every day.”

 

This all happens before the matches. But work continues after the players have left the courts, too – that’s when Neil and his team brush, water and finally cover the courts. “We put them to bed over night,” he says. “Then we’ll do the same process the following day.”

 

It’s a tough job, but the results are stunning. And Neil might have made another key contribution to Wimbledon, beyond his crucial work on the grass courts...

“When I took over from my predecessor in 2013,” he tells us, “we ended up having a British winner.” Andy Murray’s victory that year marked the first British triumph in Wimbledon in 77 years.

“Maybe, it’s because I started here,” he adds, with a smile.   

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