Pitchers of ice-cold Pimm’s, mountains of strawberries and cream, the world’s most talented tennis players battling it out to win one of the most prestigious tournaments in history – Wimbledon has it all.
This quintessentially British sporting competition was first held in 1877 and is the oldest tennis tournament in the world. With a rich history, there are plenty of interesting statistics and facts to discover. We’ve picked our 10 favourite bits of Wimbledon trivia.
Here are just a few facts you might not know about Wimbledon:
- The longest match in the history of Wimbledon played out over three days. With a total match time of 11 hours and five minutes, the 2010 Wimbledon first round match between John Isner and Nicolas Mahut is the longest tennis match on record. The final set alone lasted eight hours and 11 minutes, with Isner finally winning at 70-68.
- Ever wondered why you don’t see any pigeons during the tournament? It’s all down to the hard work of Rufus, the resident Harris’s hawk, who is released every morning to scare off local pigeons. With over 10,000 followers on Twitter (@RufusTheHawk), Rufus is one popular bird.
- The tennis balls used at Wimbledon weren’t always yellow. Originally, balls were white but were changed in 1986 so that they could be seen more clearly on TV.
- Wimbledon has an ‘almost entirely white’ dress code that players are expected to strictly adhere to, including tennis shoes. This rule can be traced back to the 1800s when it was considered inappropriate to be able to see sweat patches on players’ clothing, and as coloured clothing shows sweat more clearly, “tennis whites” became the norm. If an umpire doesn’t think an outfit is suitable, they can tell the players to change. Recently, the rules were relaxed somewhat to allow female players to wear dark-coloured undershorts.
- Over the course of the tournament, over 2,000 racquets are restrung by the repairs string team, using up to 40 miles of new string.
- Anyone who has watched the tournament knows that players grunting is a regular occurrence. Whether this should be allowed or not is a controversial topic, but it doesn’t stop players such as Maria Sharapova. Sharapova holds the record for the loudest recorded grunt, coming in at 105 decibels.
- Wimbledon is the only grand slam that is played on grass. During the tournament the grass is cut to a height of exactly 8mm to ensure the best conditions for players.
- The traditional dish of Wimbledon is, of course, strawberries and cream. A staggering 1.92 million strawberries are consumed during the tournament! The Wimbledon strawberries are picked daily in Kent at 4.00am and delivered to the Club by 11.00am for inspection and hulling.
- When the roof is put up in Centre Court due to poor weather conditions, eight litres of fresh air per person per second is pumped into the court to keep the environment perfect for play.
- The mood at Wimbledon can get very merry as spectators enjoy the action. On average they consume 276,291 glasses of Pimm’s alone.
Feeling inspired by the action at Wimbledon? At David Lloyd Clubs, we love tennis, and we have a large number of indoor and outdoor courts, expert teachers, tennis clubs and kids training programmes. Visit our racquets page for more information.