10 Facts You May Or May Not Know About Wimbledon

1) Wimbledon is the oldest tennis tournament in the world. The first Wimbledon championship took place in 1877. Men’s Singles was the only event played that year. Ladies’ Singles and Men’s Doubles events were introduced in 1884. The Ladies’ Doubles and Mixed Doubles events were added to the tournament in 1913.

2) Matches can last forever. 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.

3) The winners of Wimbledon do not get to keep their trophy. They remain on display at the All England Club’s museum and the winners go home with a small replica of the trophy.

4) The record number of Wimbledon Singles wins is held by a woman. At the time of this article, the record for the most Wimbledon titles in Ladies’ Singles belongs to retired Czech and American player Martina Navratilova with nine victories. In Men’s Singles, the record for most titles is shared by William Renshaw, Pete Sampras, and Roger Federer, who each won the event seven times.

5) 250 people are tasked with keeping track of the balls. About 250 ball boys and girls – known as BBGs – are hired and undergo intensive training to keep track of all those fast-moving tennis balls.

6) 54,250 tennis balls are used during the tournament. The balls are replaced after every seven to nine games to make sure they’re in perfect shape throughout the match. Those not in use are stored in a refrigerated container to keep them in tip-top condition.

7) Wimbledon 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.

8) Wimbledon is the only Grand Slam event played on grass courts. The grass is tended to year-round. During the event, it’s cut to an exact height of 8mm.

9) Strawberries and cream is as essential as a tennis racket. In 2017, 23 tonnes of strawberries and 7,000 litres of fresh cream were served to visitors. If you were to lay these berries in a line, they’d stretch almost 37 miles end-to-end.

10) Wimbledon is the largest single annual sporting catering operation in Europe: serving 234,000 meals, 330,000 cups of tea and coffee, 140,000 portions of English strawberries, 10,000 litres of dairy cream and 29,000 bottles of champagne, among other things.