14 fun facts about Wimbledon

Thursday 01 January 1970

There is surely no tennis event quite so thrilling and watched the world over as Wimbledon. The Championships normally start in the last week of June and run for 2 weeks. Here are 14 juicy facts about Wimbledon that you may not know...

1. Wimbledon is the world’s oldest tennis tournament, established at the All England Croquet and Lawn Tennis Club (now often referred to as AELTC) in 1877.

Aerial shot of Wimbledon courts

2. Its name comes from its location - Wimbledon, a district of southwest London. Originally it was based off Worple Road, but it moved to its current location Church Road in 1922.

3. The most recent British players to win the singles events were Andy Murray 2013 (Men’s Singles) and Virginia Wade in 1977 (Women's Singles).

Andy Murray

4. The first televised airing of The Championships, Wimbledon was by the BBC on 21 June 1937.

5. The courts are sown with 100% perennial ryegrass and Wimbledon is the only Grand Slam event in the world played on grass.

6. Sponsored advertising is not allowed at Wimbledon.

7. Centre Court is now fitted with a retractable roof to help avoid rain delays that have been an infamous feature of the tournament throughout its history.

8. Centre Court is only used for the Wimbledon Championships but it saw extra play in 2012 when the All England Club hosted the tennis events in the London 2012 Olympics.

9. The tradition of players bowing or curtseying in front of The Royal Box ended in 2003; however an exception is made if Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II or the Prince of Wales is present.

Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge in the Royal Box at Wimbledon

10. BBGs (or Ball Boys and Girls) are drawn from schools in local London boroughs. Candidates are nominated by their headteachers and must pass a written test and a fitness test among others. The average age of a BBG is 15. Ball Girls did not appear on Centre Court until 1985.

11. Champions receive a 3/4-size replica of their trophy.

12. Tickets are secured mostly through ballot; however you may queue for tickets on match days as well.

Players signing autographs for the fans at Wimbledon

13. For the first time in 2013 American fans were able to watch every single match live on ESPN, ending 25 years of hit and miss coverage on NBC. The Championship Trophies left the grounds of Wimbledon for the first time in history when they crossed the pond to mark the launch of ESPN’s coverage.

14. Can’t make this year’s Wimbledon? Tours of the grounds and museum are available throughout the year.

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