Wimbledon Championship goes way back

It all started in 1877 as an amateur competition and now it’s the oldest tennis tournament in the world. Men’s Singles was the only event that year, with 22 competitors and only a few hundred spectators. The first winner was Spencer Gore who doubted whether the tournament would even continue.

It wasn’t until 10 years later that Women’s Single and Men’s Double events were introduced to the tournament. In 1907 Austrian Mita Klima, an Austrian girl of only 13 years old, became the youngest player at Wimbledon and in 1930 Brame Hilyard became the first player to wear shorts.

During World War II, 1200 seats were lost after a boom hit the centre court and even though the games restarted in 1946, it was only in 1949 that the area was completely back to its former glory. White tennis ball were used up until 1986 when the first yellow balls were introduced, an 1987 the last year that wooden rackets were played with.

10 Wimbledon Fun Facts

  1. The dress code is strict: all players must be dressed almost completely in white and the umpire can ask a player to change their attire if they don’t meet the standards.
  2. So many balls: 54,250 tennis balls are used every year during the tournaments and are replaced every seven to nine game, as they must always be perfectly round balls.
  3. 250 ball boys and girls work each year during the tournament.
  4. The longest game in the history of the Championship took place in 2010 lasting a total of 11 hours and 5 minutes, between American player John Isner and his French opponent Nicolas Mahut.
  5. Fred Perry was probably the greatest player in the history of British lawn tennis winning the Men’s singles title at Wimbledon, a victory secured in a three successive years from 1934 to 1936. His name lives on through the fashion brand today.
  6. 2 hawks –Rufus and Pollux patrol Wimbledon each day to keep the pigeons away.
  7. The oldest women champion is Miss M Nanraitova who won in 2003 when she was 46 years old and won the Mixed Doubles.
  8. Approximately 230,000 glasses of Pimm’s, over 100,000 glasses of beer and around 28,000 bottles of Lanson Champagne are served every year during the championship, however in 2013 the top selling drink was tea/coffee with more than 300,000 cups sold during the tournament.
  9. German entrant Boris Becker and his “Puma’s” stormed Wimbledon at 17 years old in 1995 becoming the youngest ever champion.
  10. Around 40 miles of string are fitted to over 2,000 rackets used every year in the tournament.