Jordan Thompson has declared the All England Club’s hallowed grass courts slower than the French Open.
Which is not ideal when you’re about to play 2021 Roland Garros finalist Stefanos Tsitsipas for a place in the third round at Wimbledon, as Thompson will on Thursday.
The snail pace of some of the outside courts in particular have had many of the world’s premier tennis players moaning during the opening week of the 2022 championships.
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Thompson’s outspoken countryman Nick Kyrgios repeatedly pleaded with officials to “stop watering the courts” during his five-set first-round escape on court 3 on Tuesday.
“I completely agree. I don’t mind doing a bit of moaning myself out there,” Thompson said.
“I thought it was particularly slow. My first round last year went over four hours and three of the sets were 6-2 so I don’t how that’s happening on a grass court.
“The balls feel particularly heavy and the grass just feels super slow. I don’t what they’ve done, but it’s definitely slower.
“The balls get quite heavy but I don’t know whether the grass is longer, or is the grass chewing up the ball. I’ve got no idea.
“But it’s particularly slow. I’d say the French Open’s quicker. On a hot day at the French, I’d say it’s quicker.
“I’ve watched a few replays of the past with Pat Rafter playing and you can how much faster the balls and the courts were then.”
Thompson’s assessment doesn’t bode well for him as the in-form Sydneysider tries to pull off one of the upsets of the tournament to match his run to the third round from last year.
As well as having led Novak Djokovic two sets to love in last year’s French Open final, fourth-seeded Tsitsipas broke through to win his maiden grass-court title in Mallorca on Sunday.
Thompson, though, has been in fine touch himself, lifting the trophy at Surbiton this month, then making the final in Nottingham in the space of a week.
If he can fashion a boilover on Court 1 on Thursday, he could face Kyrgios for a spot in the last 16.
“It’s a tough draw,” Thompson said.
“Tsistipas has been top 10 for ages then there’s the potential to play Nick in the third round if I get through that.
“So it doesn’t get any easier.”