10 things that you must know about the Wimbledon Championships

Here are a few interesting things that people might not know about the third Grand Slam of the year- Wimbledon.

10 things that you must know about the Wimbledon Championships

Wimbledon 2021

The Wimbledon Championships are the only Grand Slam that takes place on the grass court. Martina Navratilova has won the title the most times (9) while Roger Federer leads the race in men’s tennis (8). However, there are a few things that fans might not know about the Grand Slam.

The culture of eating Strawberries and Cream at the Wimbledon Championships

Strawberries and Cream
Strawberries and Cream at Wimbledon

It is an old Wimbledon tradition to eat strawberries and cream while watching a match at the Wimbledon Championships. However, only a few know that over 28,000 kilograms of strawberries and over 7,000 liters of cream are consumed every year during the tournament.

The strawberries come from Kent and are picked just a day before they are served at the major.

The Oldest Grand Slam

Wimbledon 2021
Wimbledon 2021

Wimbledon began way back in 1877 at the All-England Club in London. This means it is the oldest tournament in the history of the sport that is being played even now. Interestingly, only 22 players participated in it way back then.

Necessary to Play in Whites

Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer
Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer

One might find it strange but it is actually mandatory for everyone to play in whites at the Wimbledon Championships. Umpires can even ask a player to change his outfit if it doesn’t match the desired dress court.

Intriguingly, Roger Federer was once asked not to wear a specific pair of shoes in the following matches in 2013. The problem was that the shoes were not completely white.

Tennis Balls weren’t always Yellow-Green

The maiden Wimbledon tournament was played in 1877.

It is quite surprising but Wimbledon didn’t always have the standard yellow-green tennis balls. Instead earlier, the balls used to be white in color as well.

The color of the balls was changed in 1986 so that they could be more easily seen on television.

Maximum Engagement from the Audience

Wimbledon 2021
Wimbledon 2021

Out of all the four Grand Slams, it is the Wimbledon Championships that receive the maximum attention from fans. Thus, it is the most viewed tennis tournament.

Reports estimate that on average, about 1 billion people across 200 nations watch the tennis event. It is equivalent to the audience that watches the El-Classico.

The Largest Sporting Catering Operation in Europe

Strawberries and Cream at Wimbledon
Strawberries and Cream at Wimbledon

Stunningly, Wimbledon Championships are the biggest single annual sporting catering operation in the entire Europe. It serves around 2,34,000 meals to different people during the tournament.

In addition, it also provides 3,30,000 cups of tea and coffee, 1,40,000 portions of English strawberries, and 29,000 bottles of champagne, among other things.

The Wimbledon Championships has its own Hawk

Wimbledon 2021
Wimbledon 2021

While one can see a number of pigeons flying around the courts, there is not even a single pigeon that can be seen on the court or in its arena. This is because the tournament has its own hawk, named Rufus.

Rufus circles the court every morning before the matches begin and scares them off. He is also quite popular on social media and has around 10,000 followers on Twitter.

The Longest Tennis Match

John Isner

Before 2019, Wimbledon Championships had a rule that the match will not end in the fifth set until one of the two players manages to take the lead in two games. As a result, the fans witnessed the longest match in the history of the sport when John Isner faced Nicolas Mahut in the first round of the tournament in 2010.

The match ended after 11 hours and 5 minutes and was played over the course of three days. Finally, it was Isner who won the match after winning the final set 70-68.

Wimbledon didn’t take place from 1940 to 1945

Wimbledon Centre Court

The Wimbledon Championships didn’t take place for six years- from 1940 to 1945. It was because of the Second World War that broke out in 1939.

Many courts of the Championships were bombed due to the war and it took quite some time for the organizers to restore it.

The Youngest Champion

Boris Becker

The youngest player to win the Wimbledon Championships was Charlotte Dod who achieved the feat when she was just 15 years old. This took place just ten years after the inaugural edition of the tournament in 1887.

The youngest male player to win the title was Boris Becker. Apparently, he was also the first German and the first unseeded player to win the Grand Slam in 1985. He was 17 years old back then.

Thus, the Wimbledon Championships have had quite an amazing history. Fans hope to witness some fascinating moments in 2021 as well.

Also Read: How Many Times has Rafael Nadal won Wimbledon Championships? Know all about the number of titles Nadal has won at the Wimbledon