Are you into tennis? Then, you probably know a lot about Wimbledon. But if you don't: Wimbledon is one of the most famous tennis tournaments worldwide, and it takes place in late June.
People from all around the globe flock to witness the best tennis competition in the world. But what makes it such a crowd-puller?
Whether it is the history, the dress code, or the ground, everything about Wimbledon is appealing and royal. So if you're a tennis fan, read ahead to know more:
Wimbledon – The Championships – is a world-class tennis tournament inaugurated and still held at the All-England Club in London at Wimbledon. It is the topmost ranked Grand Slam Tournament.
Like Madison Square Garden or Fenway Park, the site represents a lot of prestige for tennis fans. And for the players, it's an even bigger deal!
The tournament was initiated on July 9, 1877, making it the oldest currently active tennis tournament.
Twenty-one players are said to have shown up at the event when it was first held. And the first Wimbledon winner was awarded a 25-guinea trophy.
Later in 1884, ladies' singles and men's doubles became a part of the tournament. Further, in 1913 mixed doubles and ladies doubles were added.
The best tennis players from all around the world wanted to compete at Wimbledon. However, it used to be played by amateurs at this time.
Finally, in 1968, the tournament became an attraction to professional players.
Unique Features Of Wimbledon
While there are many other famous tennis tournaments, Wimbledon has its own uniques selling points. Firstly, the matches are played on grass fields.
Unfortunately, such fields are not otherwise common anywhere else. As a result, only a handful of tournaments now take place on grass fields:
- The French Open: clay surface
- The US and Australian Open: hard surface
However, Wimbledon has continued its legacy all these years.
Maintainance is key to maintaining the image of the venue. Hence, the grass is tended to all year long despite spells of inactivity. During the days of the event, it is cut to a height of 8mm.
Another tradition followed at Wimbledon is the strict dress code. All the players are made to dress in white during the matches.
The rules are so strict that the umpires can interrupt and ask players to change if they notice dress code violations.
History even shows instances when this happened. For example, in 2013, Roger Federer was told to remove his Nike Zoom Vapor orange-soled shoes!
Together, these reasons add a charm to Wimbledon, which attracts around 800,000 fans from all around the World each year.
Interesting Facts About Wimbledon
Apart from the quirks of the tournament, Wimbledon has some interesting stats and stories to tell:
- Throughout the tournaments, 54,20 tennis balls are used in total. To ensure that each ball is in perfect shape, they are replaced every seven to nine matches. Some may even be refrigerated to sustain the ideal condition
- Going back in time, Wimbledon would use white tennis balls. However, to make the balls more visible on TV, the color was changed to yellow in 1986
- Around 250 girls and boys are trained as BBGs before the annual events. These BBGs are responsible for keeping track and collecting all the tennis balls used during the game – the job is intense
- The Wimbledon men winners get a golden cup from 1887. But what is the Wimbledon trophy made of? Well, it is Silver Gilt
- Similarly, Wimbledon women winners receive a salver, a round platter
- Surprisingly, no one gets to keep their winnings. The cup and the salver are held on display in the All England Clubs' museum. Winning players only get to take a replica of the trophies
- The longest match for the tournament took place in 2021. This was when the French player Nicolas Mahut and John Isner of the United States played each other. The French player was defeated in a match lasting 11 hours and 5 mins
- At Wimbledon, the fastest men's serve record belongs to Taylor Dent, a US player. The ball is recorded to have clocked at 238 kph. Similarly, for women, the fastest serve was made by American Venus Williams by smashing the ball at 205 kph
- You must be wondering, what is the prize money of Wimbledon? In 2021, the women and men winners won around $2.4 million
How Does Wimbledon Work?
Wimbledon begins with 128 players. Then, players compete with each other, and anyone who wins seven matches in arrow is declared the Wimbledon champion.
This is how it goes for both men and women.
It isn't this simple, though. The organizers distribute 32 topmost players of the tournament into seed. Such a selection is based on past performances.
These players are then ranked from 1 to 32 and divided into face-offs; it is ensured that no two seeded players compete for the first two rounds.
Then if the higher-ranked player wins and only four players are left-back, the highest-seeded player will have to compete with the 4th ranked player.
On the other hand, the 3rd and the 2nd ranked will play each other too.
Ultimately, the two best will meet in the final. Then, these two players will meet for a competitive final.
Now that you know about the tournament as a whole, you must understand the match.
Wimbledon is a single-elimination tennis tournament with each two-player match being a series of games, and sometimes a series of a series.
Moreover, the four scoring units include the set, the match, the game, and the point. So by winning six games, you can win a set.
And to win a match as a man you have to make three sets, while women will win two sets. And, remember there must be a margin of 2 games to win.
At Wimbledon, every set will have a tie-breaking game of 7 points, except for the final. However, the number of sets is not defined.
Once a player has scored 40 points, it is called a deuce. After this stage, if you're a point ahead, winning is more manageable.
What Is The Venue Like?
The institute that hosts the Wimbledon tennis tournament is the All-England Club, and the main court is known as the Center Court. Over these years, the court has been expanded and significantly improved.
Currently, it has a seating arrangement of 16,000, with a translucent roof. These specifications make the stadium one of the most impressive ones.
The club has multiple other grass courts of different sizes. In addition, the Aorangi park adjacent to it also has various grass practice courts, clay courts, acrylic courts, and indoor tennis facilities.
Therefore, if you are a tennis fan, you will be awe-struck at the sight of the facilities.
Some Wimbledon Tradition
The English are known to be traditional and polite. If you get to attend Wimbledon, you could testify to the fact.
Apart from that and the strictly grass-court tennis action, Wimbledon carries forward many other traditions:
- As the Duke and dutchess of Cambridge are the patrons of the club, promotions and advertisements are not allowed
- The players bow to the Prince of Wales and the Queen when they pay a visit
- The spectators must maintain silence at the Centre Court, even between points
- Strawberries and cream signify the event and mark a difference from the American stadiums and fast food traditions
Moreover, Rufus adds another unique element to Wimbledon. It is a trained hawk that scares the birds from intervening in the event's proceedings.
Special Appearances At The Tournament
An exciting feature of Wimbledon is the Royal box. People from different parts of the World attended the tournament to make celebrity appearances.
The royal box is a space for the royal family to watch the match from. Moreover, it hosts celebrities and other guests of the royal family.
Therefore, the box provides one of the best vantage points to see the Wimbledon Champions.
Additionally, other celebrities, players, musicians, and athletes can be spotted elsewhere in the stadium. At times, UK politicians can also be spotted at the famous tennis tournament too.
Recently, along with the royal appearance of Prince William and Kate Middleton, the attendees included:
- Bradley Cooper
- Ellen DeGeneres
- Irina Shayk
- Benedict Cumberbatch
- Beyonce and Jay-Z
- David Beckham
- Stanley Tucci
- Natalie Portman
- London Mayor Sadiq Khan
- Former UK Prime Minister David Cameron
Are You Looking For An Affordable Way To Attend Wimbledon?
Towards the end of the second week of the tennis tournament, tickets are generally lower priced. Hence, this would be the ideal time to purchase a ticket if you're looking to save a few dollars.
Another way to get access to the tickets at lower costs is queuing. However, it could be a hassle for many, as was the case in 2021.
Bring some refreshments, lawn chairs, and a tent for yourself. You will have to wait for long durations but ultimately get the ticket at a price that could be a fraction of the pre-order costs.
However, if you're dreaming of being the Wimbledon champion, you need to put in a lot more effort. So the first step is to find the right guide.
Connect with Superprof and ease your way towards the Wimbledon tennis tournament.
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