It’s what gave lawn tennis its name — the natural surface on which this championship has been played since 1877. Previously a mix of 70% rye grass and 30% fescue, the courts are now 100% rye and kept at a trim 8 millimeters. Why the change? The head groundskeeper at Wimbledon hoped it would be more durable under the increased wear and tear from today’s more athletic players. It also requires less moisture, resulting in a more compact surface that can also withstand the heavy rollers used daily — and the hot British summer sun.
While the change might make the groundskeepers' job easier, players like Roger Federer have found that it has slowed down the once lightning-fast game — and has also reduced the occurrence of bad bounces (as the grass causes the ball to bounce higher).
DIY: Instead of watching the matches at home over breakfast alone, invite over your friends for a “Breakfast at Wimbledon” gathering. Set the scene with trays or pots of grass to decorate the table instead of flowers. Here’s a step-by-step how-to — or follow these tips for using faux wheatgrass. Don’t have room to plant your own? You can also purchase flats of wheatgrass at your local nursery store (or Jamba Juice locations).