Wimbledon Championships

Grand Slams
Wimbledon logo
Wimbledon logo

"Wimbledon" is the oldest and most prestigious event in the sport of tennis. Held in June/July, The Championships are the third Grand Slam tournament played each year, preceded by the Australian Open and French Open, and followed by the US Open. The tournament (which is the only one of the Grand Slam events played on grass courts) lasts for a fortnight, subject to extensions for rain. Separate tournaments are simultaneously held for Gentlemen's Singles, Ladies' Singles, Gentlemen's Doubles, Ladies' Doubles and Mixed Doubles. Youth tournaments - Boys' Singles, Girls' Singles, Boys' Doubles and Girls' Doubles - are also held. Additionally, special invitational tournaments are held for retired players - 35 and over Gentlemen's Doubles, 45 and over Gentlemen's Doubles, and 35 and over Ladies' Doubles.



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Sbastien Grosjean takes a shot on Court 18 during the 2004 championships

The Championships were first played under the control of the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club in 1877 at a ground near Worple Road, Wimbledon; the only event held was Gentlemen's Singles. In 1884, the All England Club added Ladies' Singles and Gentlemen's Doubles. Ladies' Doubles and Mixed Doubles were added in 1913. The Championships moved to their present location, at a ground near Church Road, in 1922. As with the other three Grand Slam events, Wimbledon was contested by top-ranked amateur players until the advent of the open era in tennis in 1968. Britons are very proud of the tournament but it is a source of national anguish and humour—no British man has won the singles event at Wimbledon since Fred Perry in 1936, and no British woman since Virginia Wade in 1977.


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The order of play for all courts is displayed on boards around the grounds

The main court is called Centre Court, and it is here that the finals of the tournament are always played. Due to the unpredictable nature of London weather during the Championships, a retractable roof has been proposed for the court. It is expected to be completed in 2009. The No. 1 Court was the subject of an extensive redevelopment in 1997 - it was originally adjacent to Centre Court, but was replaced by a new dedicated arena with a larger capacity for spectators. The original No. 1 Court was said to have a unique atmosphere, and was a favourite of many players, so its replacement was mourned by many. The No. 1 Court also plays host to some of the more important matches at the Championships, such as the quarter-finals of the singles competitions, and also includes an external giant screen for those with a ground pass who congregate on the famous Henman Hill in tribute to the local favourite who each year challenges to become the first British Wimbledon champion since Fred Perry in 1936.

No. 2 Court bears the nickname The Graveyard of Champions since it has a reputation for playing host to seeded players being eliminated to lower ranked opposition. Past victims include Andre Agassi, Roger Federer and Pete Sampras, and almost caught out Tim Henman in the 2005 first round.


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Court 10 - on the outside courts there is no reserved seating
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Evening on the first Friday of the 2004 championships

Green and purple are the traditional Wimbledon colours. Female players are always referred to during play by the title "Miss" or "Missus". (For instance, when the Chair Umpire states the scores.) Male players, however, are always referred to simply by their surnames.

The tournament begins each year six weeks before the first Monday in August, and lasts for a fortnight. Traditionally, there is no play on the "Middle Sunday." Thrice in Championships history (most recently in 2004), rain has forced play on the Middle Sunday. During the first week, the early rounds are played, whilst during the second week, the "Round of Sixteen," the Quarterfinals, the Semifinals and Finals are held.

The Gentlemen's Singles Champion receives a gold gilt trophy of a height of over eighteen inches. The Ladies' Singles Trophy is a silver salver, almost nineteen inches in diameter, commonly called the "Rosewater Dish" or the "Venus Rosewater Dish." Trophies are also presented in the other events. Prize money figures for 2005 (with the amount shown for doubles being divided equally among the partners) were:

  • Gentlemen's Singles: 630,000
  • Ladies' Singles: 600,000
  • Gentlemen's Doubles: 218,500
  • Ladies' Doubles: 203,250
  • Mixed Doubles: 90,000

Wimbledon and the French Open both have higher prize money for male champions than for female ones; the US Open and Australian Open pay equal amounts.

For the spectators, strawberries and cream is the traditional snack in Wimbledon.


See: List of Wimbledon champions

  • Last British men's singles champion: Fred Perry (1936)
  • Last British women's singles champion: Virginia Wade (1977)

External links

de:Wimbledon es:Campeonato de Wimbledon fr:Tournoi de Wimbledon it:Torneo di Wimbledon he:טורניר וימבלדון nl:Wimbledon (tennistoernooi) ja:ウィンブルドン選手権 no:Wimbledon (tennis) pl:Wimbledon pt:Torneio de Wimbledon ru:Уимблдонский турнир fi:Wimbledonin tennisturnaus sv:Wimbledonmsterskapen vi:Wimbledon


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