If you love tennis, or just appreciate watching disciplined athletes at their finest, Wimbledon is a must see event.
Whether you’re fortunate enough to observe in person — or you watch via television — for sports enthusiasts, the excitement of Wimbledon is hard to beat.
So, just for fun, we’ve collected some interesting facts about Wimbledon that you might not know, and that will keep you one step ahead of your friends at the next sports trivia game.
Originating in 1877, Wimbledon is the oldest tennis tournament in the world. During the early years, the event featured men’s singles only. The first winner was Spencer Gore. He lost the following year and abruptly retired from tennis. At the time, a ticket to the event cost 1 shilling, making it about a dime in US exchange.
Strawberries and cream are a huge tradition at Wimbledon. Since strawberries are harvested in England during the height of the event, they’ve been served to adoring fans since the very first tournament. Of all the food offered to spectators at Wimbledon, strawberries and cream remain the #1 choice. Tradition has its delicious benefits.
After photos are taken, Wimbledon trophies are not actually given to the victors. Winners are given a replica of the trophy, while the original remains at the All England Club Museum for visitors to admire and enjoy.
The longest Wimbledon match went on for more than 11 hours, spread out over a 3 day period. It occurred in 2010 between US player, John Isner, and French player, Nicolas Mahut — with Isner ultimately pulling off the win.
There is a strict dress code at Wimbledon, requiring players to wear mostly white. In fact, as late as 2013, Roger Federer was compelled to adhere to the dress code after he was told to switch out his tennis shoes because the soles were orange.
Wimbledon has only been canceled a few times in history. The event went on hiatus during WW1. And during WW2, it was postponed between the years 1940-1945. Bombing brought partial damage to a stand that cost the venue 1200 seats — which was not restored until 1947. And most recently, in 2020, the tournament was canceled due to Covid precautions — which made it the only cancellation during peacetime.
The much loved Wimbledon mascot, Rufus the Hawk, has had the official job of scaring away pigeons from the venue for the last 15 years. His predecessor was Hamish the Hawk. On his time off, he’s lent out to Westminster Abbey to keep the pigeons away there too. Rufus is so loved by tennis fans, he even has his own Twitter account.
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