Wimbledon is the oldest tennis tournament in the world, with its first tournament being in 1877. Wimbledon is one of four major tennis tournaments in the world but it is the only one played on grass. Did you know that playing on a grass surface provides the fastest game of tennis and requires an elevated skill set? It doesn't matter if you're a tennis player for this tournament, as many players and non-players know about Wimbledon and its prestige. For 144 years, the tournament has taken place at All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club.
However, the first Wimbledon differs from how the tournament is played today. While there are multiple events in the tournament today, the first Wimbledon only had Gentleman’s Singles. The first winner of Gentleman’s Singles was Spencer Gore with an audience of only 200 people. Today, crowds grow up to 500,000 people in person with many more watching on TV. In 1884, Wimbledon expanded its events to include Men’s Doubles and Ladies' Singles. While Wimbledon was mainly dominated by the British, the first overseas champion, May Sutton from the United States, won in 1905 for Ladies' Singles. In the 1910s, Ladies' Doubles and Mixed Doubles were added to Wimbledon, allowing more people to compete for a championship. Today, the record for most wins goes to Roger Federer, who won 8 titles. Notable tennis players that you can watch in Wimbledon this year include Roger Federer, Ashleigh Barty, and Serena Williams.
Fun FactsWimbledon is unique on its own: the oldest, greenest tournament of all time. To make things more interesting, there are plenty of facts about Wimbledon that people may not know.
- Many players will have multiple racquets ready to go during the tournament. The Repairs Team at Wimbledon will string over 2,000 racquets and use more than 40 miles of string. We did that math and their team would need about 320 reels for the duration of the tournament. We know our Stringing Machine Technician, Ewan, would definitely love this fun fact.
- For the longest time, the tennis balls were actually white! They decided to make the change in 1986 to green tennis balls to help the audience watching from home see the ball better. To make sure the balls stay in perfect shape for the match, the balls are switched out every 7-9 games, using a total of 54,250 tennis balls for the entire tournament.
- Stay off the grass! During the middle of the tournament, Wimbledon gives the grass a break for a day to allow it to recover.
By Alaina Greco, Marketing Intern