The Wimbledon Tennis Championships
Known as the most prestigious tennis championships in the world, Wimbledon has been held at the All England Club in South London since 1877. Wimbledon is the only Major (and Grand Slam) tournament still played on grass. The Wimbledon Championships takes place annually during the last week in June and the first week in July. The Ladies final is held on the second Saturday of the tournament and the Men´s final on the second Sunday. Junior, Senior and invitational events are also held throughout the tournament. Wimbledon has many traditions including the wearing of all white for competitors. Strawberries and cream and glasses of ‘Pimms’ also feature high on the lists of spectators who want to indulge themselves in ´everything Wimbledon.´ Many of the matches have previously been disrupted by rain, due to the inclement weather in England, and a retractable roof was fitted to the Centre Court at Wimbledon in 2009.
The main show courts are Centre Court and No.1 Court and are only normally used for 2 weeks of the year, during the tournament. The remaining 17 courts are often used to host other events at the Club. However the show courts were used in 2012 to host the tennis during the Olympics. This may also occur when courts are required for home ties of the GB teams in the Davis Cup. Number 1 Court is the second most important court at Wimbledon and it was constructed in 1997. The old number 1 court was demolished as the powers that be wanted to increase the capacity, and this court can now seat 11,000 people. Centre Court was opened in 1922 when the Club moved from Worple Road to Church Road and it has a capacity of 15,000. The Royal Box is situated at the south end of the court and plays host to many members of the Royal Family and celebrities. Centre Court hosts the semi-finals and the final of both the men´s and women´s competition plus many other matches in the earlier rounds where top-seeded players are performing.
Thing you probably didn’t know about Wimbledon
- There are approximately 250 ball boys and girls at the Championships each year
- Wimbledon requires the largest catering operation for any single sporting event in Europe
- The Centre Court Moving Roof weighs 1,000 tons and covers 5,200 metres
- The roof will take 8-10 minutes to close and a further 20-30 minutes for the air management system to create the correct conditions – so 30-40 minutes in all
- The Royal Box has been used for the entertainment of friends and guests of Wimbledon since 1922
- Around 330 umpires work at the Championships as line umpires, chair umpires or off-court staff
- From 2015 the Championships began one week later than in previous years means the gap between the French Open and Wimbledon was extended to 3 weeks
If you are planning a trip to Wimbledon in June/July 2018, or if you fancy a visit at any other time of the year, why not book a Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Museum and Tour to find out more about this prestigious venue?