Lady Wimbledon takes a look at tennis’ most coveted Grand Slam. We delve into the details that make the tournament so special from the traditions to how it differs so much from other Grand Slams…
It’s where tennis began
Wimbledon was the first tennis tournament beginning in 1877. It’s also thought that this was during the time people began to refer to the sport as tennis rather than Sphairistikè: ancient Greek for “the art of playing ball”.
Strawberries and cream
It is estimated that 27 tons of strawberries and 7,000 litres of cream are consumed at Wimbledon every year. This combination has been going strong since the start of the tournament in 1877.
The Royal touch
The Queen is a sponsor of the All England Club and The Duke of Kent is the president. Every year, members of the royal family (along with other celebrities) occupy the royal box on Centre Court. It was only in 2003 that the rule demanding players bow on entering and leaving the court was abolished.
How the tickets are sold
Tickets are usually sold through a public ballot through tennis clubs, the LTA (Lawn Tennis Association), or the Wimbledon Public Ballot. Tickets can also be sold through debenture holders. One more (slightly unorthodox) method of getting a seat on one of the courts is queueing on the grounds, people take their tents and camp overnight to get a spot!
Wimbledon rules state that all players must be dressed almost entirely in white
Umpires can ask a player to change if they don’t meet the dress code. For instance, in 2013, Wimbledon champ Roger Federer was told to switch his shoes for his next match because they had orange soles. It is also imperative that players do not have highly visible advertising on their attire.
Wimbledon is the only grand slam to be played on grass. Every type of surface allows different players to shine; the grass plays well for those who blast forehand after forehand to win sets, it complements the shots artistically crafted by the most clever players such as Roger Federer.
Adherence to tradition
In its long and rich history, Wimbledon’s adherence to traditions has set it apart from other Grand Slams. It is the only Slam to retain its original surface, it sticks to the white dress code without visible advertisements, additionally, the royal box further adds to its uniqueness. Wimbledon is considered the Mecca of the game, the cathedral of tennis.
For a professional tennis player, winning Wimbledon is best described by Martina Navratilova, “Wimbledon is like a drug. Once you win it for the first time you feel you’ve just got to do it again and again and again.
Written By: Lydia Ray | Tennis Editor