The grounds team from Nottingham Tennis Centre has been awarded the title of Infinicut Professional Tennis Grounds Team of the Year. The victory was announced Wednesday night at the prestigious Institute of Groundsmanship (IOG) Awards presented at a glittering ceremony at the National Conference Centre in Birmingham.

Ryan Middleton (Left) and Tatenda Mukome with the award

The team beat last year’s winners – the All England Lawn Tennis & Croquet Club, Wimbledon to take the crown.

The team award is to highlight the very best sports turf management at a tennis club venue that hosts tournaments with paying spectators attending. As a member of the IOG, Nottingham Tennis Centre was one of only a few teams invited to apply for the award. The team completed an initial application form, which covered categories such as teamwork, equipment, resources, training, communication and health and safety. This initial application was followed up by a stage two visit to the site for in-depth questioning from a judging panel.

The team maintains 13 Grass Courts, 19 Outdoor Plexicushion Courts and 8 Indoor Plexicushion Courts with 2 full time groundsmen and 35 temporary grounds staff during grass court season. This period includes major tournaments run very closely together including the prestigious Aegon Open pre-Wimbledon tournament and the British Open Wheelchair Championships.

Hugh White – Director of Leisure and Culture said “Many congratulations to the team from Nottingham Tennis Centre. This is a true testament to the quality of our courts and tournaments and to see the City winning recognition over such high calibre opposition shows what an incredible job they do – not only at tournament time, but all year round to maintain this world class facility.”

Mike Wisner – Chief Operating Officer at Nottingham Tennis Centre said: “We are extremely proud of Grounds Manager Ryan Middleton, Tatenda Mukome (Maurice), Wayne Thomas and the rest of the team and the fantastic work they do. People won’t realise that during the Aegon Open, the crew maintains courts almost for almost as many matches in one week that they do at Wimbledon in a fortnight! – a real feat of skill and planning. We know the players that come to the centre really enjoy the quality of the grass surface and I look forward to seeing many more players as the Nottingham team and court surfaces have now been recognised nationally.”

Player comments from the 2017 tournament

Johanna Konta: “I love this court.  I think this is my fourth or fifth time here. I really love the centre court here – they are all very nice courts here, so it’s good to be back.”

Alison Riske, Aegon Open Nottingham finalist 2016: “I’ve been coming to Nottingham for seven or eight years. It’s like all of my career this has been my stop. When it was a 50 ITF I was playing it so I’ve always felt comfortable here and I feel like the courts play great. The atmosphere is awesome. I just love England in general. I feel at home playing here.”

Laura Robson: “It’s nice, and these courts are not as fast as some other grass courts, so you have more of a rally and chances to get back into the point if you are on the defensive and things like that.”