4 Primary Wimbledon tennis facts
• It is one of the world’s most celebrated tennis events.
• It is probably the first tournament every tennis player aspires to compete in.
• It is one of the four Grand Slams in tennis.
• It is the oldest tennis tournament in the world, and has been held at the All England Club in Wimbledon, London, since 1877.
Wimbledon unknown and interesting History facts
1. Its name comes from its location – Wimbledon. Where is Wimbledon held? In a district of southwest London. Originally it was based off Worple Road, but it moved to its current location Church Road in 1922.
2. Wimbledon championship started in 1877 as only Gentlemen’s Single Championship with only 22 tennis players participated.
3. There were only 200 spectators in the first year of tournament and Wimbledon tickets were sold for 1 shilling each.
4. The winner of Wimbledon Gentlemen’s Single in the first tournament year was Spencer Gore, an old Harrovian rackets player.
5. Ladies` Singles events came on in 1884. Initially, 13 players entered the tournament. The first female tennis champion of the tournament was Maud Watson.
6. Ladies Single Championship and Gentlemen’s Double events began 7 years later in Wimbledon, in 1884.
10 lesser-known Wimbledon Tennis Facts
1. Harvest Mouse in tennis ball
Do you know how many tennis balls are used at Wimbledon? Wimbledon tournament certainly goes through thousands of balls every season. Organizers sent used balls to Surrey Wildlife Trust instead of throwing it, as an alternative home for the threatened harvest mouse.
The mice are in recession due to a decrease in their habitat. A door is made in the ball for the mouse to go in, and then the rebuilded Wimbledon balls are ready to offer them a home for summer nest.
2. Wimbledon Pigeons
You couldn`t find any pigeon at Wimbledon. According to the bbc.co.uk, ahead of the Wimbledon tournament marksmen are hired to shoot the birds. PETA reported the culling to the police, declaring Wimbledon have violated on the Animal Welfare Act 2006. However, the Metropolitan Police took no further actions.
3. Rufus the Hawk
Hawks are most certainly welcome during the Wimbledon. Rufus the Wimbledon Hawk is used to frighten away pigeons and has become a very important part of the Wimbledon family. Whilst hawk won’t hurt pigeons, he will prevent them from building nests in the buildings and also his threaten presence is enough to keep most of the birds away from the court.
Rufus is a 6 year-old Harris hawk who has his own photo identity card to have access to the All England Club grounds and also has his own Twitter account and Facebook page. Here is a badass explanation of the work he does and the unique status he holds, shot by Stella Artois. This Wimbledon tradition, of a bird scarer, started 15 years ago by Hamish, another Harris hawk that was hired through the Avian Control Systems to rid the area of pigeons.
4. Yoghurt pots
Have you heard that eating yoghurt during Wimbledon could get you into trouble? However, in 2006, organizers of the championship confiscated a yoghurt tub from a woman because it was a competitor of the official Wimbledon yoghurt sponsor.
5. Amazing Suzanne Lenglen
Suzanne Lenglen was a 6-time Wimbledon singles champion. A tennis player from France, who won most Wimbledon titles (31) between the years 1914 to 1926, so of course, she was good enough. She was thus the world’s first female tennis celebrity. She was so amazing the French Press called her La Divine, which in English means “the divine one”.
6. The Mystery-Man and his Seat № 7
For the past 15 years, this man holds the seat No 7 in the player’s box at the center court. In his cowboy hat and signature goatee, the cameras taking photos of him quite often. Year after year. So he is 79-year-old, David Spearing. He has been a steward at the Wimbledon, since 1974 and now does as a host to the tennis player’s entourage at the centre court.
7. Just Tennis. No Advertisements
One of the main differences of the Wimbledon championship is the total absence of Advertisements and this is one of the well-known wimbledon tennis facts. Unlike any other tennis tournaments, where most of the surfaces including the net is taken up by sponsor logos.
8. Umpire’s Chairs
Traditional wooden officiator’s seat – umpire’s chair – is the only one among the Grand Slams. There are also 21 umpire chairs at Wimbledon including 2 reserve chairs. They are not simple exalt step ladders with a seat on top but they are created to hold integral fridges for players’ drinks, an IBM tablet on which the umpire scores the match and also a telephone for a hotline to the referee’s office.
9. The Queue
The Wimbledon championship remains the only Grand Slam where thousands fans gather in” The Queue”, take a numbered queue card and camp overnight in a queue to ensure they get a seat. Queue card is for standby seats on the Centre Court, Court 1 or Court 2. 500 seats are available on each one through the queue. Can you believe, there is no uncontrolled mob, no rush or any rough behavior.
10. Ladies & Gentlemen events
At Wimbledon you also can see the traditional naming of the events. So instead of men’s singles/doubles we always see Gentlemen’s Singles/Doubles and also Ladies’ Singles/Doubles instead of women’s singles/doubles like at other Grand Slam events. The same tradition is for players. They are called as Mr. or Miss/Mrs. as per their marital status. However, now chair umpires could call men’s name without using Mr. but in case of ladies they still use Miss or Mrs.
Wimbledon Traditions – it`s not just about the game
1.Be all-white, totally white!
Wimbledon is a place where officials really bother much about player outfits and call they have to follow suit. Since the debuted year in 1877, all tennis players must be dressed in an all-white uniform. This cemented tradition met only a few resistances from players. One of them is Andre Agassi who skipped Wimbledon during earlier years of his career, between 1988 and 1990 since he didn’t want to conform to the dress code. A player can be asked to change if umpires don’t meet the all-white apparel. For example, Roger Federer at Wimbledon in 2013 was asked to change his shoes for the next match because they had orange soles.
So here are the main guidelines:
1.No solid mass of coloring
2.Little or no dark or bold colors
3.No fluorescent colors
4.Preference towards pastel colors
5.Preference for back of shirt to be totally white
6.Preference for shorts and skirts to be totally white
7.All other items of clothing including hats, socks and shoes to be almost entirely white.
2. Unseen Players – BBGs
Almost 250 ball boys and girls (BBGs) play a crucial role to ensure a smooth running of the tournament keeping track of all fast-moving tennis balls. BBGs have to pass written tennis rules test and a fitness test. They get paid about £120-£160 after the 13-day period.
The main brief is that a good BBG “should not be seen. They should blend into the background and get on with their jobs quietly.”
3. Wimbledon strawberries and cream in an English garden?
It is said this dish have been introduced to the crowd by Cardinal Wolsey, an adviser to King Henry VIII in the 1500s. Also, the librarian of the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Museum told that the strawberries and cream tradition dates to the first Wimbledon tournament in 1877.
During the Victorian England times, such delicacy was a fashionable thing to eat. There is a connection between Strawberries and Wimbledon. Both strawberries and tennis mark the beginning of summer. Many fans started considering Wimbledon as ‘Tennis in an English garden”, and strawberries and cream just had to be there.
Just 28.000 kg of Strawberries and Cream at Wimbledon
• To ensure uttermost freshness, strawberries are picked the day before being served, arrive at Wimbledon at around 5.30 am where inspected before being purified.
• Usually Grade I Kent strawberries of the highest quality are served.
• Around 28,000 kg consumed during the Fortnight.
• Around 8615 punnets (2100 kg) containing minimum of 10 berries consumed daily.
• Served with over 7,000 litres of fresh cream.
• 142,000 portions of strawberries served in 2012.
• price of strawberries and cream at Wimbledon for one punnet:
1993 – £1.70; 1994 – £1.70; 1995 – £1.75; 1996 – £1.80; 1997 – £1.85; 1998 – £1.85; 1999 – £1.75; 2000 – £1.80; 2001 – £1.85: 2002 – £1.95; 2003 – £2.00; 2004 – £2.00; 2005 – £2.00; 2006-£2.00; 2007-£2.00; 2008-£2.25; 2009- £2.25; 2010 – £2.50; 2011- £2.50: 2012-£2.50, 2013-£2.50, 2014- £2.50.
4.Bow or not to bow?
Wimbledon is attended by the royalty and the English Royal family since 1907. It is the only grand slam which is attended by the royalty.
Traditionally, players have to bow to the Royal Box upon entering or leaving the Wimbledon Centre Court. However, in 2003, the President of the All England Club, the Duke of Kent, discontinued this long-standing Wimbledon tradition and deemed it an anachronism in modern times. Now players have to bow only if the Queen or the Prince of Wales are present in the royal box.
5. A privilege for the defending wimbledon tennis champions
First one. The matches on Wimbledon Centre Court are kicked off by the defending champion of the Gentleman’s Singles. In 2015, this was Novak Djokovic. This is a privilege for the defending champion as he gets to play on fresh and unused grass surface for his opening match. Also the defending women’s champ kicks off on Wimbledon’s second day.
Second one. The middle Sunday of the two-week event is a day-off. Without exceptions. However, despite the rainy weather, only 3 times in the history of Wimbledon (1991, 1997 and 2001) has Middle Sunday been used draw up matches.
Third one. All 4 men’s quarterfinal matches are played on the second Wednesday and all 4 women’s quarterfinals are played on the second Tuesday.
6. Specific seeding criteria
In 2002, the tournament obtained an agreement with the ATP to define its seeding in the men’s draw based on 3 certain criteria:
Criteria 1: Count the ATP ranking points of each player at the time of seeding.
Criteria 2: Add all of the points a player has earned in any grass court events in the past 12 months.
Criteria 3: Add 75 percent of the points earned for the player’s best grass-court tournament in the 12 months before that.
7. The greenest ever! Wimbledon grass facts
Wimbledon is the only Grand Slam tennis event still played on the sport’s original surface – grass. The grass is tended to year-round. All the courts are sown with 100% perennial ryegrass, and during the event, it’s cut to a height of exactly 8 mm.
8. Wimbledon is about traditions, thus the name.
The tournament at Wimbledon is officially called “The Championships”. But, the event is never titled the British Open or the England Open. However, the French Open’s official name is “Les internationaux de France de Tennis, Roland Garros,” and the U.S. Championships were frequently named as “Forest Hills” by Americans. Now, they are commonly called French Open and U.S. Open. And Wimbledon is just Wimbledon, and always will be so.
9. Not just money
Aside from money prize, the Women’s winner is also awarded a silver gilt salver (a round platter) that was made in 1864.
From 1887 the Men’s champion receives a golden gilt cup that dates back to 1887. Both trophies are actually exposed at the Wimbledon museum for most of the year and winners actually get a small replica of the Wimbledon trophy.
Wimbledon as the largest catering operation
Wimbledon is the largest single annual sporting catering operation (1800 staff) carried out in Europe.
• 330,000 cups of tea and coffee
• 230,000 bottles of water
• 234,000 meals served
• 320,000 glasses of Pimm’s
• 110,000 sandwiches and baguettes
• 25,000 scones
• 110,000 pints of draught beer and lager
• 16,000 portions of fish and chips
• 44,000 litres of milk
• 140,000 portions of English strawberries
• 10,000 litres of dairy cream
• 10,000 portions of frozen yoghurt
• 29,000 bottles of champagne
• 5,000 kilos of bananas (for players)
• 86,000 ice cream portions
• 30,000 stone baked pizzas
The very first…
The very first non-European ladies’ champion was May Sutton from the United States in 1905. Norman Brookes from Australia was the first overseas gentlemen’s champion when he won this title in 1907.
The very first televised airing of the Wimbledon was by the BBC on 21 June 1937.
The very first black player to win a Wimbledon singles championship was American Althea Gibson captured her title in 1957. And also she defended the title in 1958. Althea was named Associated Press Female Athlete of the Year in 1957 and 1958.
The very first player to be disqualified from Wimbledon was Tim Henman in 1995. And the reason is absolutely awkward. Tim lost his temper and smashed a tennis ball in frustration, which lead to hit a ball girl right in the face. He of course apologized abundantly to the girl, however this didn’t cancel him from being disqualified!
The youngest player
The youngest female player to win the champions title a Wimbledon singles event was Charlotte (Lottie) Dod, in 1887 at the age of 15 years and 285 days. By the way, Charlotte Dod won a silver medal in archery at the 1908 London Olympics. What is more interesting, Martina Hingis became a Wimbledon doubles champion at 15 years, 282 days in 1996.
The youngest male player was Boris Becker. In 1985 he won the Wimbledon Championship at the age of 17 years and 227 days and also achieve 2 other feats:
• Boris was the first German player to win Wimbledon.
• Becker was the first unseeded champion in Wimbledon.
The longest Wimbledon match
The longest match ever played was at the 2010 Wimbledon tournament. It was played over 3 days. John Isner a player of the United States defeated French player Nicolas Mahut in a match that lasted 11 hours and 5 minutes.
The same in numbers:
• 2010, Court 18, played over 3 days
• John Isner (USA) defeated Nicolas Mahut (FRA) 6-4, 3-6, 6-7 (7), 7-6 (3), 70-68
• 11 hours 05 minutes duration
• Final set lasted 491 minutes (8 hours 11minutes)
• 980 points played in total – Mahut won 502 and Isner 478 of them
• Isner served the most aces in a match – 113
• 123 balls used
The fastest serve at Wimbledon
You`d better keep your eyes on the ball at Wimbledon! The records for fastest ever serve at Wimbledon belongs to American player Taylor Dent. His ball clocked at 148 mph in 2010. 148 mph is as fast as most of the racing cars now.
The loudest player
The loudest known grunt on the court while hitting the ball at Wimbledon belongs to Russia`s player Maria Sharapova in 2009. It reached almost 105 decibels it is the equivalent of standing beside an accelerating motorbike!
The shortest player
The shortest tennis player ever to compete at Wimbledon was Miss C.G. Hoahing who was just 4 feet 9 inches.
The most Wimbledon titles record
In Ladies’ Singles the record for the most Wimbledon titles belongs to Czech and American player Martina Navratilova with 9 victories.
In Men’s Singles, the record for most titles belongs to William Renshaw, Pete Sampras, and Roger Federerwho each won the Championship 7 times.
Wimbledon TOP MEN
Chairman: Philip Brook (2011)
Chief Executive: Richard Lewis (2012)
Referee: Andrew Jarrett (2006)
Chief of Umpires: Jenny Higgs (2010)
Head Groundsman: Neil Stubley (2013)
Big Money or Official Suppliers
Slazenger – Official Ball 1902
Robinsons – Official Still Soft Drink 1935
Rolex – Official Timekeeper 1978
IBM – Official Supplier of Information Technology 1990
Hertz – Official Car 1995
Lanson – Official Champagne 2001
Ralph Lauren – Official Outfitter 2006
HSBC – Official Banking Partner 2008
Evian – Official Bottled Water 2008
Lavazza – Official Coffee 2011
Stella Artois – Official Beer 2014
Jaguar – Official Car 2015