A few days back, Novak Djokovic beat Nick Kyrgios for a fourth consecutive Wimbledon men’s championship and seventh overall.
As mentioned by Deadline Hollywood – in the process, top-seeded Djokovic ran his unbeaten run at the grass-court Grand Slam tournament to 28 matches. He also now has 21 major trophies, just one behind Rafael Nadal’s 22 for the most in men’s tennis history.
Only Roger Federer has won more titles at Wimbledon than Djokovic.
Impressive, right? But this article is not about the greatness of Djokovic. But about the significance of Wimbledon to tennis history. Because as per Evan Evans Tours, what good is a British summer without Wimbledon? This is one of the most celebrated tennis events in the world, attracting over half a million spectators and millions upon millions of TV viewers across the globe.
And to celebrate the winning season, here are some Wimbledon fun facts:
Photo: The Guardian
1. Rufus the Hawk is a Wimbledon Celebrity
Described by SB Nation as part necessity, part tradition – the All-England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, where Wimbledon is held, has a need to keep bothersome birds like pigeons from flying down onto courts and distracting players during games. That’s why – every morning during the tournament, a Harris hawk called Rufus is set free and circles the sky above Wimbledon grounds to scare away the local pigeons.
Rufus is a local celebrity and has actually more than 10,000 followers on Twitter.
2. No Tennis Whites, No Service
At tennis’s oldest and most prestigious event, the fashion police are always out in full force. And players have tested the limits of the sport’s dress code for decades.
According to Time Magazine, the official dress code for Wimbledon tournament harkens back to standards set in the Victorian era, when players wore white for propriety’s sake as it was believed that white showed less sweat.
Players wore white in order to avoid sweat patches appearing on colored clothing, as mentioned by an article from Independent.
Also, if you have dark arm hair, the Club of England could ask you to bleach it white.
3. A Lot of Balls
According to LA Times – over the course of two weeks, Wimbledon goes through 55,000 tennis balls, including the 1,700 per day delivered to the practice courts in unopened cans.
And speaking of balls – tennis balls that might appear identical to the unpracticed eye can have significant differences from a player’s perspective. Added the LA Times – that’s why players, and particularly the men, typically asked to be tossed three balls before serving, examine them closely, then pick one to stuff in a pocket and another to discard.
4. BBG, Isn’t Easy as ABC
Being a Ball Boy or Girl (BBG as they’ve been handily known since 2018) is a tough job. They stood directly in the line of fire as tennis players send fireballs down the court. As described by GQ Magazine – it’s a tough process for a tough role, demanding supreme focus, explosive bursts of pace and flexibility, and the underappreciated skill of standing stock-still while a ball flies in front of you at speeds up to 145mph.
5. Matches Can Go on For Hours and Even Days!
John Isner and Nicolas Mahut started their 2010 first round Wimbledon match on a Tuesday. Two days and eleven-plus hours of play later, they were still out on the court, locked in what felt like an unbreakable tennis loop.
The match held a final score of 6-4, 3-6, 6-7 (7-9), 7-6 (7-3), 70-68 for a total of 183 games.
Though it is important to note, as mentioned by NBC Universal Media that this game took place before the tournament’s rules changed. Now, if it’s tied at 6-6 in the final set, a first-to-10 tiebreaker is played. The player must win by two points, rather than two games.
Photo: Financial Times
6. Winners Can’t Keep Their Trophies
According to Great British Mag, the winners of Wimbledon do not get to keep their trophies. They remain on display at the All-England Club’s Museum and the winners go home with a small replica of the trophy.
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