With the World Cup and Wimbledon both going on this Summer, it really is a dreamy couple of weeks any sports fanatics. Even if you’re not mad into tennis, Wimbledon fortnight is always a fun time in London, and is a great excuse to sit in the sunshine in front of a big screen with a glass of Pimm’s in your hand! So, to help you impress your friends at your next Wimbledon themed gathering, here are 10 fun facts you might not know about the British tournament…
Wimbledon is the world’s oldest tennis tournament, established at the All England Croquet and Lawn Tennis Club in 1877 – this makes Wimbledon 141 years old!
The courts are all sown with 100% ‘perennial ryegrass’ and Wimbledon is the only Grand Slam event in the world played on grass. The grass is tended to year-round. And during the event, it’s cut to a height of exactly 8 mm.
White tennis balls were originally used in the sport until the colour was changed to yellow for the first time at Wimbledon in 1986. This is because the umpires found it too difficult to see the white balls!
In 1887, Charlotte Dod was the youngest player ever to win the championship, at just 15 years old. She retained her title for the next five years. The youngest man ever to win the championship was 17-year-old Boris Becker when he beat Kevin Curren in the final in 1985.
In 2010, American player Taylor Dent achieved the fastest ever serve at Wimbledon, hitting at a speed of 148 mph, in a match against Novak Djokovic.
Before the tournament commences, the players have to submit their clothing to the club to be approved, making sure it adheres to the all-white dress code. They take it very seriously too, in 2013, Roger Federer was asked to change his shoes because they had orange soles…
Approximately 42,000 tennis balls are used over the Wimbledon fortnight. After the tournament, they are sent to Surrey Wildlife Trust where they are used to create harvest mice homes.
The first man to ever be disqualified from Wimbledon was our very own Tim Henman back in 1995. He lost his temper during a match and smashed a ball in frustration, which hit a ball girl straight in the face. He apologised profusely and even presented her with flowers but was still not allowed to play until the following year.
Ever wondered why you never see a pigeon flying around the courts when Wimbledon is on? It’s because they’re hiding from Rufus the hawk, who circles the courts every morning before matches begin to scare them off! He’s even pretty savvy on social media and has over 10k followers on Twitter.
During Wimbledon, approximately 112,000 punnets of strawberries will be consumed, along with 32,000 lots of fish and chips; 25,000 bottles of bubbly; 100,000 pints of beer; 135,000 ice creams; 170,000 scones; 190,000 sandwiches; 200,000 glasses of Pimm’s; 250,000 bottles of water and 300,000 cups of tea and coffee sold.