Wimbledon court-dryness check: an inexact science

WIMBLEDON – The chair umpires at Wimbledon have a rather, well, quaint way of checking whether the grass is dry enough for play.

It’s a three-set process we will henceforth refer to the “mani test”.

First, the back of the hand brushes the court:
Checking the courts

 

Then, the front of the hand.
Checking the courts

 

Then? Check the manicure.

Checking the courts

All systems go, says Mr. Chair Umpire. It didn’t rain for long, but the drops were pretty big.

The mani test doesn’t seem to bear any relationship at all to a fast player sprinting the entire width of the court to chase down a ball on wet grass, in terms of their ability to stay on their feet and not go arse over teakettle (to put it a British way). But hey, these guys are the best grass-court adjudicators on the planet.

Charlotte Robillard-Millette wasn’t so sure they were good to go. With predictable results.

So, let’s check it again.

Back:

Checking the courts

Aaaaaand, do the back again – HARDER.

Checking the courts

And, check the mani.

Checking the courts

All good to go.

On Robillard-Millette’s court, they had time to play a game (which cost the Canadian the set), sit down for the changeover, and start the next before the next court (Sofia Kenin and Jill Teichmann), even got started again.

So, maybe, all in all, the mani test didn’t quite work.

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