Articles from a quaint grass-court tournament:
WIMBLEDON GRASS NEEDS BREAKING IN
The Miami Herald
Thursday, June 18, 1992
This Saturday afternoon, four mature ladies from the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club will take Centre Court to play the annual pre- Wimbledon women's doubles match.
The grass on Centre Court, which goes unused except around the time of the tournament, is so crisp that it needs to be broken in. It is a gentle process, really, according to Wimbledon public-relations consultant Sue Youngman, which explains why men are not selected to do it.
"The grass is very young and fresh and needs to be beaten up a bit," Youngman said. "But it doesn't need to be killed."
The women are chosen from among the All England Club's 375 permanent members. They tend to be elderly. The selection process is informal and, if there ever is a debate about who gets to play, "it will be sorted out in some civilized way," Youngman said.
It is not open to the public. Players' names are not released. Ages are not available, but none of the junior members is up for selection. Score is kept, but not for any official record.
"It's not a match, as such," said Judy Miller, who works at the players' desk. "It's just a nice little hit."
Immediately after the tournament, All England Club Chairman John Curry will use Centre Court to play a few men's doubles matches. Once the men are through, the court will be dug up and reseeded for next year's Wimbledon.
Chris Evert is finding her second career as a television analyst challenging. It's difficult being the most inexperienced voice in the booth.
"Mary Carillo puts a lot of pressure on someone like me because she's so good at it," Evert said. "The toughest thing is being a reporter. They want more of that . . . going down to the locker room, getting down and dirty. That sort of goes against my nature.
"It's not tough for me to be critical. I can see that Monica Seles needs to work on her volley, needs to work on her first serve. I'm fine with criticism.
"But they want me, basically, to be a reporter, go into the locker room, talk to players, find out about their lives and tell stories. It has taken time for me to learn about doing that," Evert said during a news conference announcing her Oct. 31-Nov. 1 tournament in Boca Raton, the 1992 Chris Evert/Phar-Mor Pro-Celebrity Tennis Classic.
Evert, who will help cover Wimbledon and the Mazda Classic in San Diego for NBC, said she hasn't missed tennis since her son Alex was born eight months ago.
"When I was about seven months pregnant, big, fat and bloated, I watched Martina (Navratilova) and Jimmy (Connors) playing TeamTennis, and Jimmy at the U.S. Open," she said. "And for about three days I thought: 'God, I want to get into shape, play TeamTennis, get those highs back.'
"But as soon as I had the baby, as soon as I saw that new person, that vision quickly diminished. I thought, 'What do I need that for?' "
Monday through Friday, June 22-26: 5-7:30 p.m.; highlights from 7:30-8 p.m. and 11:30 p.m. to midnight (HBO).
Saturday and Sunday, June 27-28: noon to 3 p.m. (Chs. 4, 5).
Monday, June 29: 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and highlights 11:35-11:50 p.m. (Chs. 4, 5); 5-7:30 p.m. and highlights 7:30-8 p.m. (HBO).
Tuesday, June 30: women's quarterfinals 5-7:30 p.m. and highlights 7:30-8 p.m. (HBO); 11:35-11:50 p.m. highlights (Chs. 4, 5).
Wednesday, July 1: men's quarterfinals, 10 a.m. to noon and 11:35-11:50 p.m. highlights (Chs. 4, 5); 5-7:30 p.m. and highlights 7:30-8 p.m. (HBO).
Thursday, July 2: women's semifinals, 1-5 p.m. and highlights from 11:35-11:50 p.m. and 12:50-2:50 a.m. (Chs. 4, 5); 5-7:30 p.m. and highlights 7:30-8 p.m. (HBO).
Friday, July 3: men's semifinals, 1-5 p.m. and highlights
from 11:35 p.m. to 12:05 a.m. (Chs. 4, 5); 5-7:30 p.m. and highlights 7:30-8 p.m. (HBO).
Saturday, July 4: women's final (live), 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. (Chs. 4, 5).
Sunday, July 5: men's final (live), 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. (Chs. 4, 5).