The All England Club in London is host to one of the world’s favourite tennis events - you guessed it - Wimbledon! People from all over the planet flock to England to watch the best in the sport battle it out on the grass courts. In fact, it’s reported to be around half a million of you each year!
We at Koala Chess Art HQ certainly enjoy the Championship and feel very proud of our host nation for being such lovely hosts. But - being English ourselves - even we didn’t know some of these facts… did you?
1. The very first Wimbledon competition was fought in 1877 - giving it the award of the oldest tennis tournament in the world. It was however just a Men’s Single championship. Ladies’ matches and Doubles came later in 1884.
2. All white everything! There is a very strict dress code throughout the tournament - all players must dress in white. Competitors can even be asked to change if this is not adhered to! But why? Well, it goes back to Victorian times when there was the belief that white clothing was better at hiding sweat. No cream, no beige, just white. And this tradition has simply continued and made the championship that little more special. Unfortunately, our T-Rex didn't get the memo!
3. As mentioned, Wimbledon is played on grass. But did you know it is the only Grand Slam to do so? As a result, this grass is treated more like a red carpet! It is looked after year-round and trimmed to a height of exactly 8 millimeters by16 permanent ground staff. This figure even jumps to 28 while the tournament is on. But rumor has it they get worked pretty hard - we even saw one employee lawn-ing…
4. And if you thought they were picky about the grass then listen up. At Wimbledon, they are so specific about the tennis balls and their condition that they even go through an astonishing 54,000 of them each tournament! To ensure they are in perfect shape, they replace the balls every 7-9 games (not matches). We at Koala Chess Art HQ think this must be what dog heaven looks like!
5. We have however lost count when trying to work out how many balls were needed for Wimbledon’s longest ever match - which lasted an unbelievable 11 hours! It was played over 3 days in 2010 and ended 70 games to 68. John Isner and Nicholas Mahut fought it out through 183 games in total on just the second day of Wimbledon and became household names as a result.