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2005 May 26 - Wimbledon: Fresh new balls

The All England Club (AELTC) have finally backed down from their policy of opening tubes of pressurised tennis balls the week before the tournament begins, much to the delight of Tim Henman.

The British No.1 has complained for a long time that the stance taken by the AELTC could result in slower balls, which of course would be a disadvantage to a serve-volley player.

Chris Gorringe (Wimbledon Chief Executive) said:

"We (will) adopt the policy of opening the cans of new balls on court."

But the AELTC have chosen to take this decision despite their long standing tradition and guarantees from ball manufacturer Slazenger that opening the balls early isn't an issue. Chris added:

"This practice has been carried out for over 10 years and was certainly not a couple of weeks in advance, as has been suggested.

"Although we have continually been advised by Slazenger that this not would make any difference to the balls' playing properties, we had nevertheless decided in April this year that we would adopt the policy of opening the cans of new balls on court.

"I can confirm that, as with the other Grand Slams, this will be the case at the 2005 Championships."

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