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Learning English
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Sports Words Monthly

Wimbledon - Centre Court  

June 2001 - Tennis

Wimbledon - without grass?!
With the Wimbledon Tennis Championships in progress, a suggestion has been made that the famous grass courts of South-West London should be replaced. BBC Sport Online's Claire Stocks reports.

NEWS 1  
  A suggestion surely as preposterous as, well, strawberries without cream. David Lloyd, the outspoken former (British) Davis Cup captain, has launched a stinging attack on the surface so revered in SW19. The 53-year-old ex-player says men's games at Wimbledon are now virtually "unwatchable". He says improvements to racquets and player power have produced 15 years of boring tennis. According to Lloyd, the time has now come for the All England Club to rip up the hallowed turf and move with the times.
 
Audio Listen to the words
WORDS  
 

preposterous - silly, unbelievable

a stinging attack - a strong criticism

revered - if something is revered, it is respected greatly

SW19 - the British postal code for the Wimbledon area

to rip up - to remove

hallowed turf - the old and long established grass of Wimbledon

move with the times - become more modern

NEWS 2  
  The US Open and Australian Open were both originally played on grass but switched to a hard court surface some time ago. Wimbledon is now the only major tournament in the world played on grass. Lloyd's suggestion may seem laughable given the prestige of an event worth $60m a year, not to mention the millions in tourism and associated income. Or the fact it is the tournament players, such as Venus Williams and Pete Sampras, most want to win. Not surprisingly, Wimbledon declined to comment on Lloyd's comments. And the Lawn Tennis Association was also unwilling to talk about the future of grass.
 
Audio Listen to the words
WORDS   
 

tournament - competition

laughable - ridiculous

prestige - respect and importance

declined to comment on - were asked about but didn't give an answer

  Read the full story in BBC Sport Online

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