1. It’s the Oldest Tennis Tournament
Yes, it’s the oldest tournament of its kind in the world! Wimbledon first started in 1877, and began as a private, men’s only tennis club. It also used to include croquet! Women were first allowed to compete from 1884.
2. It Was First Televised in 1937
Wimbledon has been televised for almost 100 years! Starting in 1937, the championships have been televised for everyone to enjoy, and nowadays its watched by millions all over the world!
3. Tennis Balls Used to Be White
Until the 1980’s, tennis balls weren’t bright green, they were white! This all changed in the 1980’s when it was decided that green balls would be easier to see on TV, and the rest is history!
4. You Don’t Get to Keep the Trophy
Yup, that’s right. You get presented with the trophy, which is then taken away and engraved, but the players only get to take home a replica! The real one stays at Wimbledon.
5. It’s Associated With Strawberries and Cream
Strawberries and cream are a famous dish associated with the championships. Strawberries are in season during the games and make the perfect summer dessert – its estimated that over 8,000 punnets are sold at Wimbledon per day!
6. The Longest Ever Match Lasted 11 Hours and Five Minutes
Technically, a tennis match could go on forever! And while no game has gone on that long, there have been a few very long games! Currently the record for the longest game at Wimbledon is 11 hours and 5 minutes, and was played in 2010 over three days!
7. Everyone Must Wear White
It’s not a coincidence that players are always dressed in white – in fact, its a rule! All players must wear white, and you can get sent off by the umpire if you aren’t!
8. Over 50,000 Tennis Balls Are Used
Wimbledon goes through a lot of balls each year – over 50,000 in just two weeks! Balls are changed after every seven games, and are apparently stored at cool temperatures for optimum performance!
9. It Has Its Own Hawk
Why does a tennis championships need a hawk? To scare away the pigeons, of course! The hawk at Wimbledon is called Rufus, and took over from the previous hawk, Hamish!
10. You Can Win a Lot of Money
Every player at Wimbledon gets a prize of some sort – even if you only make round one of the doubles, you still get £12,000! The top prize is for the Men and Women’s Singles, and is £2 million!