On July 9, 1877, the first Wimbledon tournament was held on one of the croquet lawns of the All England Croquet and Lawn Tennis Club. Here are five things you probably didn’t know about Wimbledon...
It's The World's Oldest Tennis Tournament Back on 9th June 1877, the first Wimbledon Championships were held, making it the oldest tennis tournament in the world. But it was pretty different to the tournament we know today. For a start, the tournament was advertised as a ‘"awn tennis meeting, open to all amateurs" – yes, you could have entered! The only event played that year was Men’s Singles. Ladies’ Singles and Men’s Doubles events weren't held until 1844. Ladies’ Doubles and Mixed Doubles were added to the mix in 1913.
Dogs Would Lose Their Minds At The Number of Tennis Balls Used Around 54,000 tennis balls are used in the Wimbledon tournament, which are inspected and replaced every seven to nine gain in order to keep them in optimum condition. When they’re not used, tennis balls are even stored in a refrigerated container to keep them looking spotless! Those who are real fans of the sport can buy a can of balls when they are being rotated out for £2.50 ($3).
Rufus The Hawk Has an Important Job at Wimbledon Rufus, a Harris hawk, is a celebrity at Wimbledon. Every morning during the tournament, Rufus is set free, and circles the sky above Wimbledon grounds to scare away the local pigeons. Rufus has over 10,000 followers on Twitter and sent the nation into panic when he was stolen in 2012. Rufus was birdnapped from a car but was returned when the thief realized that he was the famed Wimbledon hawk. He was back on the job in 2013.
The Dress Code is Strict One of the most distinctive features of Wimbledon is the extremely strict dress code which players must follow. The tradition of “tennis whites” dates back to the 1800s, when players wore white in order to avoid sweat patches on brightly colored clothing. The powers that be are strict. In 2013, Roger Federer was asked to change his shoes just because they had orange soles! And would you believe, that if you have dark arm hair, the Club of England could ask you to bleach it white – now that’s dedication.
Strawberries And Cream is a Tradition at Wimbledon Wimbledon has been associated with strawberries and cream since the first tournament in 1877, and the price of this sweet treat is subsidized to keep it down. While it can be ordered separately during the tournament at Wimbledon, many people order a picnic lunch that includes the dessert, sandwiches, scones, tea, and water. In 2017, 23 tons of strawberries and 7,000 litres of fresh cream were served to visitors. If you were to lay these berries in a line, they’d stretch almost 37 miles end-to-end. The British tradition of serving strawberries and cream goes back all the way to 1509 during the reign of King Henry VIII.