Last updated: Jun 28, 2022
The world’s most famous tennis tournament is under way again at the All England Lawn Tennis Club in Wimbledon (well done to Britain’s Emma Raducanu and Andy Murray for winning their first matches on Centre court on day 1)!
The 2 week tournament attracts over 39,000 avid tennis fans to South West London, including celebrities and royalty (any excuse for strawberries and cream, right?). To celebrate the 135th return of the most quintessentially British sporting tournament of them all, let’s get to know Wimbledon with these fun facts:
The tournament goes way back - Back on 9th June 1877, the first Wimbledon Championships were held at Worple Road in Wimbledon, making it the oldest tennis tournament in the world. Though it was pretty different to the tournament we know today - it was advertised as a ‘lawn tennis meeting, open to all amateurs’ (yes, you could have entered!). The only event played that first year was Men’s Singles. Ladies’ Singles and Men’s Doubles only came into the Wimbledon equation in 1944, before Ladies’ Doubles and Mixed Doubles were added to the mix in 1913.
Players go through a lot of tennis balls - Around 54,000 tennis balls are used in the Wimbledon tournament, which are inspected and replaced every seven to nine games to keep them in optimum condition. When they’re not used, tennis balls are even put in a refrigerated container to keep them looking spotless!
Look out for Rufus the hawk - If you’re lucky enough to be going to SW19 this year, then you’ll likely see a Harris hawk called Rufus. He’s set free every morning during the tournament to circle the grounds and scare away the local pigeons. Rufus is quite the celebrity (he has over 10,000 followers on Twitter), and panicked the nation when he was stolen in 2012 (thankfully he was soon returned home safe).
Strawberries and cream is as essential as a tennis racket - In 2019, - 191,930 portions of strawberries and cream were consumed during The Championships! If you were to lay those berries in a line, it would stretch over 37 miles end to end!
Things can get pretty exhausting - Matches can go on for hours (and sometimes even days)! The longest ever Wimbledon match was at the 2010 tournament, where John Isner of the USA won against French player Nicolas Mahut. The match lasted a crazy 11 hours and five minutes, and was played over 3 consecutive days – we bet they needed a good sleep after that!Whether you’ll be enjoying the racket action from the comfort of your own home, from Murray Mount or Centre Court, we've collated all our tennis essentials so you can enjoy all the SW19 action!