Tennis: Lloyd treads on grass

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The Independent Online
Ignoring cries of sacrilege, David Lloyd, Britain's Davis Cup captain-elect, yesterday reiterated his view that the Wimbledon lawns should be replaced with a slower surface. Lloyd, a member of the All England Club, has long considered grass courts too fast for the modern power game, whose big-serving practitioners gain additional speed at the expense of artistry by using synthetic rackets.

"Wimbledon is the greatest tournament - the one that everyone wants to win," the former professional said on BBC radio. "But I don't believe it's to do with the grass courts - people want to play there because it's Wimbledon and it's something special. With the change in the rackets, the balls and the shoes, it's got boring.

"The men's professional game is in danger of making spectators go to sleep and on a fast court like Wimbledon it will happen. If you put a slower court down, I think you'd have better matches and it would come alive again."

The All England Club has no plans to replace the traditional surface with a synthetic one.

In an attempt to curb the power game, the Lawn Tennis Association is due to experiment with a new ball at the ATP Tour's headquarters in Florida.

Having recruited David Lloyd and his brother John in the hope of resuscitating Britain's Davis Cup team, the LTA has made a new appointment to the ailing women's game. Keith Woodridge, 51, replaces the American Janet Newberry.

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