Wimbledon … With this word, the heart of all people, even if they are a little bit interested in tennis, begins to beat faster and more often. Victory in this tournament is considered the most prestigious among all Grand Slam tournaments. However, the person who is the first winner of this tournament predicted a short life for him. Oh, how much he was wrong!
History of tennis tournament
The history of one of the original tournaments of our time in the whole world sport originates in the 1868th year. Twenty-two players took part in the first Wimbledon tournament, which took place in 1877, and Spencer Gore became the winner. This, he suggested after his success, that for a long time this competition will not live. Who knows, maybe he thought in some other, much more global categories than we are today, but at the moment more than a hundred and thirty-year history of the tournament, it seems, deserves to be called long enough and long in time. Interestingly, the entrance to that first final was already paid – in order to observe the action, you had to pay one shilling, and there were about two hundred such lovers. So even at its dawn, this competition had its own audience, although here, of course, it is worth saying that by the time the traditions of ill health were developed quite strongly in the British Isles, since there were several tens of thousands of people going to football matches even then.
Women also received the right to fight for victory in this tournament in the 1884th year. In the debut tournament, then thirteen girls competed, and the strongest among them was Moud Watson, who confirmed the randomness of her success next year (interestingly, at the dawn of the tournament there was a considerable cyclical nature of victories. the tournament automatically reached the final next year, bypassing the qualifying obstacles, but that rule was canceled that year, and both opponents reached the final equally, which certainly made the tournament more interesting, and trouble it even more prestigious). By the way, in the same year another type was introduced into the competition program – the men’s doubles tournament. In 1913, the program of the main competition acquired its final form – to the three types already available, the women’s doubles tournament and the mixed pairs competition, i.e. mixed, were added.
If we have already started talking about the beginning of women’s performances at Wimbledon, then we cannot ignore the persona of the third winner of the tournament. Lottie Dod won the competition for the first time in the 1887th year (in general, she had five victories in this tournament), and at that time she was only fifteen years old (later Martina Hingis also won at the age of fifteen on the British doubles, and at that time she was three days younger than Lottie Dod, when she won her victory, but it was in doubles, so when it comes to the women’s individual tournament, then the leadership remains exactly the British)! In general, Charlotte (and her name was just that – Lottie is just a short for the full name) was a very athletic girl, and despite the fact that she entered the history as a tennis player, she also often played golf (won the British Amateur Women’s Golf Tournament), field hockey (along with the British national team, she even became the silver winner of the 1908 Olympic Games in this sport), and also shot from a bow. Later, the Guinness Book of Records called her, along with athlete Bebi Zaharias, the most universal athlete in the world. These are now not random people won on Wimbledon courts at the end of the last century.
Wimbledon history: the most interesting facts
Territory has 17 hectares. Number of courts is 19. In it: 375 permanent members who enjoy all the privileges, 120 temporary members (elected annually), who have the right to play on the AELTC courts, as well as about 70 honorary members. To become a member of the club, you must either go through a complicated procedure of recommendations (4 permanent members) and statements, or win the Wimbledon singles tournament. On the last Friday before the championship, members of the club, along with participants, can order courts, where they can play side by side with tennis stars. And only champions of the past have the right to prepare for a tournament on the courts of the club.
The club’s president is Prince Edward, Duke of Kent (he does not play tennis) since 1969. Despite his old age (born in 1935) and the stroke brought on in 2013, he continues to lead the club. AELTC Chairman – Philip Brook from December 2010 (amateur tennis player). Executive Director is Richard Lewis (Richard Lewis) since 2012 (former professional tennis player).
Wimbledon courts and stands
The capacity of the tribunes of the Central Court is fifteen thousand spectators; however, it is practically hopeless to notice empty spaces on it. It is here that the most important matches of the tournament are held – the semi-finals and the finals of women’s and men’s singles competitions, and sometimes the matches of earlier stages, but always with the participation of tournament seeding leaders. Since 2009, a sliding roof has appeared on the central court as an option to protect against the traditional English weather, which often makes adjustments to the tournament matches. The roof over Cort No. 1, which seats eleven thousand fans, is also expected soon. This is the second most important Wimbledon court, but many consider it more comfortable, so tickets for it are just as easy to get as to the Central Court.
However, the shortage of tickets is compensated by the presence of a large grassy Aorangi Terrace near the Central Court, which has a huge video screen that allows you to follow the ups and downs of the most important matches. On the courts of Wimbledon, as it is not surprising in our time, there is no advertising. This is one of the traditions of the tournament as well as the participation of athletes in white, or as close to white as possible form. This is one of the requirements of the organizers of the tournament, to which all athletes are subject, whatever the originals in choosing the colors of their form. Thus, watching the Wimbledon tournament on TV, you can easily identify it.
The audience also has its own traditions – this is, first of all, eating strawberries with cream. In the days of the tournament, it seems that there is no other food for visitors of the tournament, although this is certainly not the case – the number of cafes and restaurants is not limited at all, but tradition is a tradition – eating strawberries at Wimbledon is a sign of not only involvement but also good tones.
Dates of Wimbledon
Dates of Wimbledon are traditional: the last week of June is the first week of July. However, since 2015, these deadlines have been shifted a week in advance so that athletes can better prepare for matches on grass.
What traditions have made the Wimbledon tournament the most prestigious event?
Wimbledon is one of the suburbs of London. It is here that the Wimbledon tournament is held, the only one with a grass covering among the four giants of the Grand Slam tournaments. Wimbledon is a tennis tournament with the longest history on the planet. The first documented competitions in the suburbs of London were held back in 1877, and the rules by which they played at this tournament became official at many European championships. And for almost a century and a half, Wimbledon has retained its uniqueness in the big tennis. Ancient history, special rules and mature traditions distinguish it from other Grand Slam tournaments. For example, in the conservative Wimbledon tournament, tennis players play only in snow-white form and in no other. Every master racket here is called Mr.
Also Wimbledon is the only tournament on the courts of which there are not and there will not be advertising billboards. The peculiarity of the tournament is reflected in the draw of players. During it, in addition to other indicators, take into account the points of each tennis player, obtained during the year at competitions with grass. Wimbledon courts are 100% made of ryegrass – this is a very expensive coating, costly to maintain. The height of the grass should be no more than 8 millimeters, and in no case should the occurrence of seeds be allowed, as this attracts pigeons. On the territory of the tennis club there is even a “duty” buzzard – a bird of prey for scaring other birds. The male winners of the Wimbledon tournament have long received large amounts of prize money than representatives of the beautiful half of humanity, but more recently the situation has changed. Men and women get the same prize.
The Central and First Courts are covered with grass grown exclusively on a special farm in Yorkshire. Moreover, the secret of growing and storing the Wimbledon cover is kept behind seven seals. On these courts are played only Wimbledon matches. Other tournaments are held at other courts of the sports complex. Of course, it does not do without a royal family at the tournament, which almost always visits it and takes part in the award ceremony.
There are also “tasty” traditions on Wimbledon. For decades, strawberry and cream has been considered the main delicacy at Wimbledon. Every year in two weeks of the tournament, viewers eat about 28 tons of fresh berries. Every morning strawberries are brought to London from nearby counties; it is cut off by green sepals and laid out about 10 berries in cardboard vases, and watered with liquid cream before selling. Despite established traditions, the tournament keeps up with the times and the organizers introduce some innovations. So, since 2007, the Hawk-Eye video replays system has been used. And in 2009, a sliding roof appeared over the central court of the tournament. And now the rain, which is also considered one of the symbols of Wimbledon, does not prevent the holding of important matches. Until 1986, at Wimbledon, balls were played with an exceptionally white color, but for television broadcasts, white was difficult to understand, therefore, by decision of the organizers, tennis players began to play yellow balls.