Brook: SW19 will be 'pristine'
Wimbledon chairman Philip Brook is confident the grass courts will be restored in time for the Olympic Games.
The All England Club ground staff have been running trials over the last two years to ensure the lawns, which are threadbare by the end of Wimbledon fortnight, are in "pristine condition" for the Olympics, which begin just three weeks after the 2012 Championships.
Wimbledon will have the use of hosepipes and sprinklers after being granted an exemption from the current ban - but Brook conceded Wimbledon's famous hanging flower baskets may have to be scaled back.
"It might seem odd to be talking about a shortage of water when it's rained for the last three weeks here in London but we do recognise that there is a serious water shortage in the south-east of England," Brook said.
"Away from the courts we are reducing unnecessary water use.
"With that in mind we are revising our planting schemes, with drought-resistant plants and some reduction in hanging baskets inside and outside the grounds.
"Wimbledon this year will be a little less colourful than usual but we think it's the right thing to do."
The All England Tennis Club are working on a new long-term development plan called Wimbledon 2020 to continue improving facilities for players and the public.
One of the potential projects being considered is the construction of a roof over Number One Court, to match that built over Centre Court as part of Wimbledon's last long-term plan.
"We are very clear in our plans that while there has been a lot of great work done here over the last 15 years to get our Championships to this level, there is still a lot more to do," Brook said.
Wimbledon officials have agreed to a substantial increase to the prize money for the 2012 Championships following talks with Andy Murray and the world's leading players.
Brook met with Murray, Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer at Indian Wells in March to discuss the increasingly thorny issue.
As a result, the total fund for 2012 will increase by 10% to £16.1million with the mens and ladies champions receiving an extra £50,000 each, taking their prize money to £1.15million.
The biggest percentage increases goes to those players knocked out in qualifying (21%) and to the first round losers, whose prize money has been boosted by 26% from last year to £14,500.
Brook explained the leading names had argued for an increase for the lower ranked players to recognise "the rising costs associated with professional tennis".
There have been reports that players were prepared to go on strike over the issue of prize money at Grand Slams but Brook said that was never mentioned in the discussions.
"There hasn't been any suggestion of industrial action or unrest," Brook said.
"There was a request to go and meet with them in Indian Wells. We respected that request.
"What we heard from them was not a request for more prize money for them but they recognised this was an issue for the sport. They were there representing all the players on the tour."
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