'Players' pullout not due to Wimbledone grass'

London, June 27 (IANS) All England Club's chief executive Richard Lewis has refuted allegations that their grass courts have led to many tennis players to withdraw from Wimbledon.

"There has been a high number of withdrawals at the Championships today and we sympathise with all the players affected. The withdrawals have occurred for a variety of reasons but there has been some suggestion that the court surface is to blame. We have no reason to think this is the case. Indeed, many players have complimented us on the very good condition of the courts," Lewis said in a statement Wednesday.

Various players, including former World No.1 Victoria Azarenka, pulled out of the only grass court major, citing injuries Wednesday.

"The court preparation has been to exactly the same meticulous standard as in previous years and it is well known that grass surfaces tend to be more lush at the start of an event. The factual evidence, which is independently checked, is that the courts are almost identical to last year, as dry and firm as they should be, and we expect them to continue to play to their usual high quality," added Lewis.