Vandals force Surrey tennis court closures during Wimbledon after repeatedly targeting newly refurbished site

Tennis Vandals  - Grovelands Park tennis courts have been forced to close during peak Wimbledon season (image Chris Caulfield)Tennis Vandals  - Grovelands Park tennis courts have been forced to close during peak Wimbledon season (image Chris Caulfield)
Tennis Vandals - Grovelands Park tennis courts have been forced to close during peak Wimbledon season (image Chris Caulfield)
Vandals have forced the closure of tennis courts after repeatedly targeting the site – just a year after it underwent a £70,000 refurbishment.

The timing could not have been worse as the sport sees a surge of interest and playing numbers in July when the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships are in full swing.

The courts, in Grovelands Park, West Molesey, had undergone a six-week resurfacing programme in June 2023 meaning this is now the second peak season in a row they have been out of commission.

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A spokesperson for Elmbridge Borough Counci said: “Following vandalism to the Grovelands recreation ground tennis courts, we have made the decision to temporarily close the facilities while we work towards carrying out repairs and securing the site.

Tennis Vandals  - Grovelands Park tennis courts have been forced to close during peak Wimbledon season (image Chris Caulfield)Tennis Vandals  - Grovelands Park tennis courts have been forced to close during peak Wimbledon season (image Chris Caulfield)
Tennis Vandals - Grovelands Park tennis courts have been forced to close during peak Wimbledon season (image Chris Caulfield)

“There have been several incidents of vandalism at this site since it was re-opened last year after a £70,000 refurbishment programme but this time, there was extensive damage.

“The fence was cut out, both nets were torn and jammed into the posts’ winding mechanism and the court surface was damaged.

“The decision to temporarily close was not taken lightly as we know repairs and remedial measures will take time to put in place, but we want to make sure the site is completely safe for everybody before we open again.

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“We know residents value these facilities and we are sorry for the inconvenience.

“We always get an increased interest in tennis during Wimbledon, and it is a shame to have to close the courts at this time of the year when the weather is improving (hopefully) and children are on holiday.”