20 Amazing Wimbledon Facts
- Published: 09/01/2017
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Here’s our top 20 amazing Wimbledon facts, some are almost unbelievable, some humorous and some are just plain amazing! So, grab a glass of Pimms and enjoy!
#1 Nearly 55,000 Balls!
A huge amount of 54,250 balls are used during the championships. Stored at 68 degrees F to ensure peak performance. Balls on average are only used for seven to nine games. Post competition, LTA’s Wimbledon Balls for Schools Scheme, receives the proceeds of any money raise through auctioning balls.
#2 Watched all over the world
Global news access audience estimated at over 1bn people in 200 territories.
#3 Grass cut to 8mm height
As the world’s only grass tennis Grand Slam, great steps are taken to maintain the courts. This includes cutting it to exactly 8 mm in height.
#4 250 Ball Boys/Girls
known in trade as BBG, 250 ball boys and girls are selected from a pool of 750 of local hopefuls. All are subject to a rigorous training routine, which ensures they meet the high standards Wimbledon expects. Their average age is 15 years old.
#5 All White clothing
Since 1995 the ‘white rule’ was relaxed to ‘Almost entirely in white rule’ . The referees, however, have the final say. Some have demanded clothing change. For example, Roger Federer in 2013 was told to change his orange soled footwear for a more subtle pair. There are strict rules governing tennis attire as stipulated by WTA.
#6 With It’s roof closed…
290 million tennis balls would fill Centre Court! Nice!
#7 The world’s oldest tennis tournament
The first Wimbledon championship took place in 1877 and only featured Men’s Single matches. This was the first tennis tournament of it’s kind in the world. 1884 saw the introduction of Ladies’ Singles and Men’s Doubles events. Ladies’ Doubles and Mixed Doubles competitions were also added by 1913.
#8 Who’s won the most?
The most Wimbledon titles in Ladies’ Singles belongs to retired Czech American player Martina Navratilova who holds 9 Wimbledon victories. Three men, William Renshaw, Pete Sampras, and Roger Federer, have each have won 7 title and therefore share the top spot.
#9 You don’t get to keep the Trophy!
In addition to cash winnings, a trophy is presented. The winning lady is presented with a round platter called a Salver, made in 1864. Whereas the Men’s champion receives a golden cup that dates back to 1887. Neither winner keeps the trophy as they remain on display at the All England Club’s museum. However, winners do take home a small replica of the trophy!
#10 Eleven hours and five minutes
2010 created a new record for longest match ever played at Wimbledon. John Isner of the United States defeated French player Nicolas Mahut in a match that lasted 11 hours and 5 minutes. Play took place over three days!
#11 The need for speed
The record for fastest men’s serve at Wimbledon belongs to US player Taylor Dent, whose ball clocked in at 238 kph. Venus Williams, also American holds the record for the fastest women’s serve after smashing a tennis ball about 205 kph. Fast!
#12 It’s not a grunt, it’s a motorcycle!
When hitting a ball, some tennis players let out a loud grunt on court. The loudest record of which, came from Russia’s Maria Sharapova in 2009. Her screamed reached about 105 decibels, which is the equivalent of standing beside an accelerating motorcycle!
#13 Rufus helps to keep Wimbledon pigeon-free
Every morning during the Championship, a harris hawk named Rufus circles the sky above Wimbledon to deter the local pigeons. Rufus is one of Britain’s best-known birds, with over 9,000 followers on Twitter!
#14 Total prize money £26,750,000
You read that right! The total prize money handed out at Wimbledon is £26.75 million. The single Grand Slam champions receive £1.88 million each, while competitors who lose in the First Round will receive £29,000 each. It’s a fair amount of change, regardless where you drop out.
#15 Oldest vs Youngest Winners
Oldest winner – Martina Navratilova wins the mixed doubles match in 2003 at 46 years, 261 days old. Youngest winner – Martina Hingis wins the Ladies’ Doubles Championship in 1996 at 15 years, 282 days old.
#16 Originally a Croquet Club
Initially called the All England Croquet Club, when founded in 1868. As tennis became more popular, the club’s name was updated to All England Croquet and Lawn Tennis Club. However, due to a decline in Croquet, the club was renamed again in 1882 to All England Lawn Tennis Club. And hasn’t changed since.
#17 Play stops for war
As world peace returned, the championship resumed.
#18 Prize Money Equality
The prize money rules changed in 2007 and female winners have since received the same cash awards as the male winners.
#19 Europe’s largest sport catering
With 1800 staff in catering along, Wimbledon is the largest single annual sporting catering operation carried out in Europe. Each year, serving on average:
- 177,135 glasses of Pimm’s
- 139,435 portions of strawberries
- 133,800 traditional English scones
- 2772 kilos of bananas (for players)
#20 Over 10.5 Million people on social media
The global impact of Wimbledon spills over to social media with 10.5 million people engaging across Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and more!