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Wonderful Wimbledon

10 Jun 2019

We near that time of year when bright red strawberries get blanketed in a good dollop of smooth white cream and washed down with an equally fruity and lightly boozy glass of Pimms! Yes! Wimbledon is upon us!

Wimbledon showcases the top athletes of the tennis world and pits them against each other, each one vying for the prestige of facing one of their peers in the final match on centre court.

A sporting event steeped in tradition, the inaugural Wimbledon Championship was held in 1877, making it the oldest tennis tournament in the world. Over the years the tournament has amassed a plethora of traditions, quirks and fun facts, so here’s a few!...

  • Almost a quarter of a million glasses of Pimms are drunk each year at the tournament. By just the spectators we assume! 28,000kg of strawberries and 7,000 litres of cream are consumed by peckish fans.
  • Every year 700 children apply to be ball kids but only 250 are chosen.
  • A staggering 54,250 tennis balls are used during the tournament. Afterwards they don’t go to waste, they’re sold to tennis clubs and spectators.
  • Speaking of the humble tennis ball, did you know that they were traditionally white but were replaced with a yellow version in 1986 to be more visible to TV cameras!
  • Wimbledon is the only Grand Slam tennis tournament to be played on grass and during the event is cut to a height of 8mm!
  • A Harris’ Hawk called Rufus flies over the courts every morning of the tournament to scare off pesky pigeons that might otherwise ruin people’s day out.
  • Unlike other tournaments, rules state that all players must be dressed almost entirely in white. Umpires can ask a player to change if they don’t meet the dress code. For instance, in 2013, Wimbledon champ Roger Federer was told to switch his shoes for his next match because they had orange soles.
  • The winners of both the Men’s and Women’s finals each take away a prize of £2.25m.
  • The longest match ever played at Wimbledon took place at the 2010 tournament. John Isner of the United States defeated French player Nicolas Mahut in a match that lasted 11 hours and five minutes and was played over the course of three days.

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