London: Wimbledon organizers are losing 50 tennis balls everyday as many spectators prefer taking the ball back home as a souvenir than giving it back once its hit towards them.
Some 54,000 stamped Slazenger balls are ordered for the two-week Championships with almost 2,000 used every day.
Although, the All England Club gives visitors the chance to buy used balls at the official shop, but Brian Mardling, the ball distribution manager at Wimbledon, suspects that the wayward fans keep balls.
“There`s probably about 50 balls go missing on average in a day. People are supposed to give them back and generally it seems to be part of the British tennis scene that we do ask for the ball back,” a newspaper quoted Mardling, as saying.
“It`s a ball in play, it`s part of the six balls, and if it doesn`t get passed back it means the umpire has to introduce another ball. It``s more on the outside courts because the outside perimeters are quite low so the balls bounce into the audience,” he added.
“At Wimbledon we run our spare ball system, so we know that spectators do keep them as souvenirs. Because you only see the cameras on the main show courts, that`s why we get your ``can we have our ball back please?`` - you tend to know who``s got it,” he said.
Used championship balls are resold at the club the following day for 3 pounds for a can of three, or 10 pounds for four cans, to raise money for charity.
First Published: Wednesday, July 04, 2012, 18:08