Our courts will be top quality -groundsman Charman

DEVONSHIRE PARK groundsman Roy Charman knows what it takes to get the pristine lawns in shape for the AEGON International and he believes this year’s courts are the best yet.

Charman spent four years at Devonshire Park in the 1970s before returning in 1995 and he has worked there ever since.

And with former Wimbledon champions in the form of Venus Williams and Lleyton Hewitt gracing the courts this year, Charman believes both the players and specators alike will see the benefits of his and his team’s work.

“We’ve been working hard recently with the main event just around the corner and we are confident they will be top quality,” said Charman.

“We could have done with a bit more rain recently but that’s just something we have to deal with and we’ll do our best to ensure they are looking their best.”

Charman is one of four permanent groundsmen at Devonshire Park and he will be aided by an army of court-coverers and temporary staff during the week-long tournament who will be drafted in to ensure the event runs without a hitch.

The team will be working from dawn until dusk during the AEGON International to keep the courts in top shape – and Charman insists it’s a labour of love.

“We start at about 6.30am and will be on site all the time because you never know what is going to happen,” he added.

“They will all be cut and the lines drawn in time for play but there is also the weather to think about and we don’t want to get caught short of bodies if it rains and the courts need covering.

“We always need to be available and we have to be ready all the time.”