Ryan Middleton (left) and Tatenda Mukome (right)

The grounds team from Nottingham Tennis Centre has been named Infinicut Professional Tennis Grounds Team of the Year at the Institute of Groundsmanship (IOG) awards on Wednesday.

The team beat last years winners, the prestigious All England Lawn Tennis & Croquet Club in Wimbledon, to the award.

“We are extremely proud of Grounds Manager Ryan Middleton, Tatenda Mukome, Wayne Thomas and the rest of the team and the fantastic work they do,” said Mike Wisner, CEO of Nottingham Tennis Centre.

The team award highlights the very best turf management at tennis centres that host tournaments with paying spectators.

This included the prestigious Aegon Open pre-Wimbledon tournament and the British Open Wheelchair Championships.

“People won’t realise that during the Aegon Open, the crew maintains courts almost for as many matches in one week that they do at Wimbledon in a fortnight – a real feat of skill and planning,” added Mr Wiser.

Speaking at the 2017 tournament earlier this year, British Number One Johanna Konta said; “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.”

Alison Riske, 2016 finalist of the Aegon Open said; “I’ve been coming to Nottingham for seven or eight years… so I have always felt comfortable here and I feel like the courts play great.

“The atmosphere is just awesome.”
alison riske

The team maintains 13 grass courts, 19 outdoor Plexicushion courts and eight indoor courts with two full time groundsmen and 35 temporary grounds staff during the season.

As members of IOG, Nottingham Tennis Centre was one of only a few centres to be invited to apply for the award.

The team completed an initial assessment which covered categories such as teamwork, equipment, resources, training, communication and health and safety.

This was then followed up by a stage two visit to the site for in-depth questioning from a judging panel.

Hugh White, Director for Sport, Culture and parks at Nottingham City Council said; “This is a true testament to the quality of out courts and tournaments and to see the City winning recognition over such high calibre opposition shows what an incredible job they do.”