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The Championships, Wimbledon

The Championships, Wimbledon, or simply, Wimbledon, is the oldest tennis tournament in the world and is widely considered as the most prestigious. It has been held at the All England Club in the London suburb of Wimbledon since 1877. It is the oldest of the four Grand Slam tennis tournaments, and the only one still played on grass courts.

The tournament runs annually for 14 days from late June to early July, , with the climax being the men's singles final, scheduled for a Sunday. As of the 2008 tournament, five major events are contested, as well as four junior events and four invitational events.

Wimbledon is third in the annual Grand Slam season. The hard court Australian Open and clay court French Open precede Wimbledon. The hard court U.S. Open follows. The grass court Queen's Club Championships also in London is a popular warm up tournament for Wimbledon.

Wimbledon traditions include the eating of strawberries and cream, royal patronage, strict dress code for competitors, and ball boys and girls. A much unloved tradition, "rain stops play" calls leading to schedule over-runs, is set to be reduced with the fitting of a retractable roof to Centre Court from 2009. The 2008 men's final, already the longest at nearly 5 hours of play, was extended to over 7 hours due to rain, finishing in darkness.

History

The beginning

The All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, which is responsible for staging the world's leading tennis tournament, is a private club founded in 1868, originally as 'The All England Croquet Club'. Its first ground was situated off Worple Road, Wimbledon.

In 1875 lawn tennis, a game devised by Major Walter Clopton Wingfield a year or so earlier and originally called 'Sphairistike', was added to the activities of the Club. In the spring of 1877 the Club was re-titled 'The All England Croquet and Lawn Tennis Club' and signalled its change of name by instituting the first Lawn Tennis Championship. A new code of laws (replacing the code until then administered by the Marylebone Cricket Club) was drawn up for the event. These laws have stood the test of time and today's rules are similar except for details such as the height of the net and posts and the distance of the service line from the net.

The only event held in 1877 was the Gentlemen's Singles which was won by Spencer Gore, an old Harrovian rackets player, from a field of 22. About 200 spectators paid one shilling each to watch the final.

The lawns at the Ground were arranged in such a way that the principal court was situated in the middle with the others arranged around it; hence the title 'Centre Court', which was retained when the Club moved in 1922 to the present site in Church Road, although not a true description of its location. However, in 1980 four new courts were brought into commission on the north side of the ground, which meant the Centre Court was once more correctly defined. The opening of the new No. 1 Court in 1997 emphasised the description.

By 1882 activity at the Club was almost exclusively confined to lawn tennis and that year the word 'croquet' was dropped from the title. However, for sentimental reasons, it was restored in 1889 and since then the title has remained The All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club.

In 1884, the All England Club added Ladies' Singles and Gentlemen's Doubles. Ladies' Doubles and Mixed Doubles were added in 1913. Until 1922, the reigning champion had to play only in the final, against whoever had won through to challenge him. 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, though 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, although Annabel Croft and Laura Robson have won the Girls' championship in 1984 and 2008 respectively. The Championship was first televised in 1937.

Wimbledon in the 21st Century

Wimbledon is acknowledged to be the premier tennis tournament in the world and the priority of The All England Lawn Tennis Club, which hosts The Championships, is to maintain its leadership into the twenty-first century. To that end a Long Term Plan was unveiled in 1993, which will improve the quality of the event for spectators, players, officials and neighbours.

Stage one of the Plan was completed for the 1997 Championships and involved building in Aorangi Park the new No. 1 Court, a Broadcast Centre, two extra grass courts and a tunnel under the hill linking Church Road and Somerset Road.

Stage two involved the removal of the old No. 1 Court complex to make way for the new Millennium Building, providing extensive facilities for the players, press, officials and Members, and the extension of the West Stand of the Centre Court with 728 extra seats.

Stage three continues. The construction of a new Championships entrance building, housing Club staff, museum, bank and ticket office at Gate 3 has left the Centre Court east side empty and will allow development to provide better facitilies for the public, increase the seating capacity from 13,800 to 15,000 and erect a retractable roof.

Events

Wimbledon includes five main events, four junior events and four invitation events.

Main events

The five main events, and the number of players (or teams, in the case of doubles) include the following:

  • Gentlemen's Singles (128 player draw)
  • Ladies' Singles (128 draw)
  • Gentlemen's Doubles (64 draw)
  • Ladies' Doubles (64 draw)
  • Mixed Doubles (48 draw)

Junior events

The four junior events and the number of players or teams include the following:

  • Boys' Singles (64 draw)
  • Boys' Doubles (32 draw)
  • Girls' Singles (64 draw)
  • Girls' Doubles (32 draw)

The mixed doubles event is not held at the junior level.

Invitation events

The four invitational and the number of pairs include the following:

  • Gentlemen's Invitation Doubles (8 pairs Round Robin)
  • Senior Gentlemen's Invitation Doubles (8 pairs Round Robin)
  • Ladies' Invitation Doubles (8 pairs Round Robin)
  • Gentlemen's Wheelchair Doubles (4 pairs)

Match formats

Matches in the Gentlemen's Singles and Gentlemen's Doubles competitions are best-of-five sets. Matches in all other events are best-of-three sets. A tiebreak game is played if the score reaches 6-6 in any set except the final, deciding set, in which case a two-game lead must be reached.

All events are single-elimination tournaments, except for the Gentlemen's Invitation Doubles and the Ladies' Invitation Doubles, both of which are round-robin tournaments.

Until 1922, the winners of the previous year's competition (except in the Ladies Doubles and Mixed Doubles) were automatically granted byes into the final round (then known as the challenge round). This led to many winners retaining their titles for successive years, as they were able to rest while their opponent competed from the start of the competition. From 1922, the prior-year's champions were not granted byes but were required to play all the rounds, like other tournament competitors.

Schedule

Each year, the tournament begins on the Monday falling between 20 and 26 June, which is six weeks before the first Monday in August.

Wimbledon begins two weeks after the Queen's Club Championships, which is one of the men's major warm-up tournaments for Wimbledon. Another important men's warm-up tournament is the Gerry Weber Open, which is held in Halle, Germany during the same week as the Queen's Club Championships. Other important men's grass-court tournaments before Wimbledon are Nottingham, England, and 's-Hertogenbosch in the Netherlands, which also includes women's events. Two other women's warm-up tournaments for Wimbledon include Birmingham and Eastbourne, both of which are in England.

Wimbledon is scheduled for 13 days, beginning on a Monday and ending on a Sunday. The five main events span both weeks, but the youth and invitational events are held mainly during the second week. Traditionally, there is no play on the "Middle Sunday", which is considered a rest day. However, rain has forced play on the Middle Sunday three times in the Championship's history: in 1991, 1997, and 2004. On each of these occasions, Wimbledon has staged a "People's Sunday", with unreserved seating and readily available, inexpensive tickets, allowing those with more limited means to sit on the show courts. Additionally, if the tournament is not completed by the end of the second Sunday, all remaining matches are postponed until "People's Monday".

Players and seeding

A total of 128 players feature in each singles event, 64 pairs in each single-sex doubles event, and 48 pairs in Mixed Doubles. Players and doubles pairs are admitted to the main events on the basis of their international rankings, with consideration also given to their previous performances at grasscourt events. Currently (since 2001) 32 male and female players are given seedings in the Gentlemen's and Ladies' singles while 16 teams are seeded in the doubles events.

The Committee of Management and the Referee evaluate all applications for entry, and determine which players may be admitted to the tournament directly. The committee may admit a player without a high enough ranking as a wild card. Usually, wild cards are players who have performed well during previous tournaments, or would stimulate public interest in Wimbledon by participating. The only wild card to win the Gentlemen's Singles Championship was Goran Ivanišević in 2001. Players and pairs who neither have high enough rankings nor receive wild cards may participate in a qualifying tournament held one week before Wimbledon at the Bank of England Sports Ground in Roehampton. The singles qualifying competitions are three-round events; the same-sex doubles competitions last for only one round. There is no qualifying tournament for Mixed Doubles. No qualifier has won either the Gentlemen's Singles or the Ladies' Singles tournaments. The furthest that any qualifier has progressed in the main draw of a Singles tournament is the semi-final round: John McEnroe in 1977, Vladimir Voltchkov in 2000 (Gentlemen's Singles), and Alexandra Stevenson in 1999 (Ladies' Singles).

Players are admitted to the junior tournaments upon the recommendations of their national tennis associations, on their International Tennis Federation world rankings and, in the case of the singles events, on the basis of a qualifying competition. The Committee of Management determines which players may enter the four invitational events.

The Committee seeds the top players and pairs on the basis of their rankings. However, the Committee does also change the seedings due to a player's previous grass court performance. A majority of the entrants are unseeded. Only three unseeded players have ever won the Gentlemen's Singles Championship: Boris Becker in 1985, Richard Krajicek in 1996 and Goran Ivanišević in 2001. (In 1985 and 1996 there were only sixteen seeds - Becker was ranked 20th at the time, Krajicek was ranked in the world's top 16, but missed out on the seedings; Ivanišević, however, was as low as 125th.) No unseeded player has captured the Ladies' Singles title; the lowest seeded female champion was Venus Williams, who won in 2007 as the twenty-third seed, beating her own record from 2005, when Williams won as the fourteenth seed. Unseeded pairs have won the doubles titles on numerous occasions; the 2005 Gentlemen's Doubles champions were not only unseeded, but also (for the first time ever) qualifier. They give many wildcards to players from Britain. This is in part to help boost the quality and profile of British tennis, but prinicpally to attract interest in The Championships in England, with players who are not good enough to qualify on merit.

Grounds

The nineteen courts used for Wimbledon are all composed purely of rye grass.

The main show courts, Centre Court and No. 1 Court, are normally used only for two weeks a year, during the Championships, but play can extend into a third week in exceptional circumstances. The remaining seventeen courts are regularly used for other events hosted by the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club. The show courts will, however, be pressed into action for the second time in three months in 2012 as Wimbledon will host the tennis events of the 2012 Olympic Games. One of the show courts is also used for home games for the GB teams in the Davis Cup and Fed Cup.

Wimbledon is the only Grand Slam event played on grass courts. At one time, all the other Grand Slam events were played on grass. The French Open abandoned grass for its current red clay in 1928, while the U.S. and Australian Opens stayed with grass for decades longer. The U.S. Open abandoned grass for a synthetic clay surface in 1975 and changed again to a hard surface (DecoTurf) with its 1978 move to its current venue. The Australian Open abandoned grass for Rebound Ace, a different type of hard surface, in 1988, and switched to yet another type of hard surface, Plexicushion, in 2008.

The principal court, Centre Court, was opened in 1922 when the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club moved from Worple Road to Church Road. This change of venue was due to the huge crowd pressure at Worple Road to see the French phenomenon Suzanne Lenglen, and for which that ground proved completely inadequate.

Due to the possibility of rain during Wimbledon, a retractable roof has been planned for the court, and part of the structural work has now (June 2008) been completed: work will resume during the second half of 2008 and completion is expected in 2009. The retractable roof is said to be designed to close/open in under 10 minutes and will be closed primarily to protect play from inclement (and, if necessary, extremely hot) weather during The Championships. Also, during the time of opening or closing, play will be suspended. The court has a capacity of 15,000. At its south end is the Royal Box, from which members of the Royal Family and other dignitaries watch matches. Centre Court usually hosts the finals and semifinals of the main events, as well as many matches in the earlier rounds involving top-seeded players or local favourites.

The second most important court is No. 1 Court. The court was constructed in 1997 to replace the old No. 1 Court, which was adjacent to Centre Court. The old No. 1 Court was demolished because its capacity for spectators was too low. The court was said to have had a unique, more intimate atmosphere and was a favourite of many players. The new No. 1 Court has a capacity of approximately 11,000. The third-largest court, No. 2 Court, has been dubbed the "Graveyard of Champions" due to its reputation as the court on which many seeded players have been eliminated during the early rounds. Famous players who have lost here during early round play include Joe Creedon, Ilie Nastase, John McEnroe, Boris Becker, Andre Agassi, Pete Sampras, Martina Hingis, Venus Williams, and Serena Williams. The court has a capacity of about 3,000. A brand new 4,000 capacity No. 2 Court has been built on the original site of the Virginia Creeper Memorial. To obtain planning permission the playing surface is around 3.5m below ground level, ensuring that the single storey structure is only about 3.5m above ground level, and thus not impacting local views. It will open in time for the 2009 Championships. Plans to build on the current site of Court 13 were dismissed due to the high capacity of games that will be played at the 2012 Olympic Games.

At the northern end of the grounds is a giant television screen on which important matches are broadcast. Fans watch from an area of grass officially known as the Aorangi Terrace, but more commonly called Henman Hill. The "hill" takes its name from local favourite Tim Henman, who many fans once hoped would become the first British man to win the tournament since Fred Perry did so in 1936.

When other British players do well at Wimbledon, the hill attracts fans for them, and is often re-named by the press for them: Greg Rusedski's followers convened at "Rusedski Ridge", and Andy Murray has had the hill nicknamed "Murray Mound", "Mount Murray", or "Murray Field" (after the Scottish rugby stadium).

Traditions

Ball boys and ball girls

In the championship games, ball boys and girls, known as BBGs, play a crucial role in the smooth running of the tournament, with a brief that a good BBG "should not be seen. They should blend into the background and get on with their jobs quietly..

From 1947 ball boys were supplied by Goldings , the only Barnardos school to provide them. Previous to this, from the 1920s onwards, the ball boys had been provided by The Shaftsbury Children's' Home.

Since 1969, BBGs have been provided by local schools. As of 2008 they are drawn from schools in the London boroughs of Merton, Sutton, Kingston and Wandsworth, as well as from Surrey. BBGs have an average age of 15, being drawn from the school years nine and ten. BBGs will serve for one, or if re-selected, two tournaments.

As of 2008, BBGs work in crews of six, 2 at the net, 4 at the corners, and crews rotate one hour on court, one hour off, for the day's play. Crews are not told which court they will be working on the day, to ensure the same standards across all courts. With the expansion of the number of courts, and lengthening the tennis day, as of 2008, the number of BBGs required is around 250. BBG service is unpaid, but it is seen as a valuable addition to a school leavers curriculum vitae, showing discipline. BBG places are split 50:50 between boys and girls, with girls having been used since 1977, appearing on centre court since 1985.

Prospective BBGs are first nominated by their school headteacher, to be considered for selection. To be selected, a candidate must pass written tests on the rules of tennis, and pass fitness, mobility and other suitability tests, against initial preliminary instruction material. Successful candidates then commence a training phase, starting in February, in which the final BBGs are chosen through continual assessment. As of 2008, this training intake was 600. The training includes weekly sessions of physical, procedural and theoretical instruction, to ensure that the BBGs are fast, alert, self confident and adaptable to situations. As of 2007, early training occurs at Sutton Junior Tennis Centre, and then moves to the main courts after Easter.

Colours and uniforms

Dark green and purple (sometimes also referred to as mauve) are the traditional Wimbledon colours. Green clothing was worn by the chair umpire, linesmen, ball boys and ball girls until the 2005 Championships; however, beginning with the 2006 Championships, officials, ball boys and ball girls were outfitted in new navy blue and cream coloured uniforms from American designer Ralph Lauren. This marked the first time in the history of the Championships that an outside company was used to design Wimbledon clothing. Wimbledon's contract with Ralph Lauren is set to last until 2009.

Dress code

The All England Club requires players to wear all white ("all" being clothing which is 95% white in area, or greater).

Referring to players

On scoreboards, female players are referred to by the title "Miss" or "Mrs"; married female players are referred to by their husbands' names: for example, Chris Evert-Lloyd appeared on scoreboards as "Mrs. J. M. Lloyd" during her marriage to John M. Lloyd. This tradition has continued at least to some extent.

The title "Mr" is not used for male players on scoreboards, although chair umpires refer to players as "Mr" when they use the replay challenge. The chair umpire will say "Mr is challenging the call..." and "Mr has X challenges remaining."

Royal family

Previously, players bowed or curtsied to members of the Royal Family seated in the Royal Box upon entering or leaving Centre Court. In 2003, however, the President of the All England Club, HRH The Duke of Kent, decided to discontinue the tradition. Now, players are required to bow or curtsy only if the Queen or the Prince of Wales is present.

Radio Wimbledon

Since 1992, Radio Wimbledon – an on-site radio station with a studio in the Centre Court building – has broadcast commentary, music and speech from 8am to 10pm daily throughout the championship. It also broadcast the draw on the Friday before the start of the tournament. Radio Wimbledon can be heard within a five-mile radius on 87.7 FM, and also online. It operates under a Restricted Service Licence and is arguably the most sophisticated RSL annually in the UK. The main presenters are Sam Lloyd and Ali Barton. Typically they work alternate four-hour shifts. Reporters and commentators include Gigi Salmon, Nick Lestor, Rupert Bell, Nigel Bidmead, Guy Swindells, Lucie Ahl, Nadine Towell and Helen Whitaker. Often they report from the "Crow's Nest", an elevated building housing the Court 2 and 3 scoreboards which affords views of most of the outside courts. Regular guests include Sue Mappin. In recent years Radio Wimbledon acquired a second low-power FM frequency (within the grounds only) of 96.3 FM for uninterrupted Centre Court commentary, and, from 2006, a third for coverage from No. 1 Court on 97.8 FM. Hourly news bulletins and travel (using RDS) are also broadcast.

Television coverage

For over 60 years, the BBC has broadcast the tournament on television in the UK, splitting time for the many matches it covers between its two main terrestrial channels, BBC One and BBC Two. The BBC holds the broadcast rights for Wimbledon until 2014 and it distributes its commercial-free feed to outlets worldwide. During the days of British Satellite Broadcasting, its sports channel carried extra coverage of Wimbledon for subscribers. One of the most notable British commentators was Dan Maskell, who was known as the BBC's "voice of tennis" until his retirement in 1991. Other regular commentators on UK television include British ex-players Sue Barker, Andrew Castle, Tim Henman and Annabel Croft; and guest veterans such as Boris Becker, John McEnroe, Jimmy Connors and Tracy Austin.

Americans have made a tradition of NBC's "Breakfast at Wimbledon" specials at weekends, where live coverage starts early in the morning (the US being a minimum of 5 hours behind the UK) and continues well into the afternoon, interspersed with commentary and interviews from Bud Collins, whose tennis acumen and (in)famous patterned trousers are well-known to tennis fans in the USA. Collins was sacked by NBC in 2007, but was promptly hired by ESPN, the cable home for The Championships in the States.

Wimbledon was also involved, unintentionally, in a piece of television history, on 1 July 1967. That was when the first official colour broadcast took place in the UK. Four hours live coverage of Wimbledon was shown on BBC2 (then the only colour channel in the UK), and although footage of that historic match no longer survives, the men's final that year is still held in the BBC archives because it was the first men's final transmitted in colour.

Since 2007, the most anticipated Wimbledon matches are transmitted in High Definition, on the BBC's free-to-air channel BBC HD, with continual live coverage during the tournament of Centre Court and Court No. 1 as well as an evening highlight show (Today at Wimbledon).

The BBC's opening theme music for Wimbledon was composed by Keith Mansfield and is titled "Light and Tuneful". A piece titled "A Sporting Occasion" is the traditional closing theme, though nowadays coverage typically ends either with a montage set to a popular song or with no music at all.

Tickets

Wimbledon is the only grand slam where fans without tickets for play can queue up and still get seats on Centre Court, Court 1 and Court 2. For 2008, there will be a single queue, allotted about 500 seats for each court. When they join the queue fans are handed vouchers with a number on it and the following morning when the line moves towards the Grounds, stewards come through the line and hand out wristbands colour-coded to the specific court. The voucher is then redeemed at the ticket office for the ticket.

To get into the show courts, fans will normally have to queue overnight at Wimbledon This is done by fans from all over the world and is considered part of the Wimbledon experience in itself. Those planning to queue overnight are advised to bring a tent and sleeping bag. Times to queue up vary according to the weather, but anyone queueing up before 9PM on a weekday should be able to get a show court ticket. Queuing for the show courts end after the quarter finals have been completed.

As of 2008 there is talk of making the overnight queue into an event in its own right.

Trophies and prize money

The Gentlemen's Singles champion receives a silver gilt cup 18.5 inches (about 47 cm) in height and 7.5 inches (about 19 cm) in diameter. The trophy has been awarded since 1887 and bears the inscription: "The All England Lawn Tennis Club Single Handed Champion of the World." The Ladies' Singles champion receives a sterling silver salver commonly known as the "Venus Rosewater Dish", or simply the "Rosewater Dish". The salver, which is 18.75 inches (about 48 cm) in diameter, is decorated with figures from mythology. The winners of the Gentlemen's Doubles, Ladies' Doubles, and Mixed Doubles events receive silver cups. The runner-up in each event receives an inscribed silver plate. The trophies are usually presented by the President of the All England Club, The Duke of Kent, and by his sister, Princess Alexandra, the Honourable Lady Ogilvy.

Prize money was first awarded in 1968, the first year that professional players were allowed to compete in the Championships.

In 2008, the prize money for the main events is as follows (the amounts shown for the doubles events are per pair):

  • Gentlemen's Singles and Ladies' Singles Winners £750,000 (approx US $1,470,000)
  • Gentlemen's Doubles and Ladies' Doubles Winners £229,000 (approx US $448,000)
  • Mixed Doubles Winners £90,000 (approx US $176,000)

In 2008 £11,812,000 (approx $23,500,000) was awarded in total as prize money.

Champions

Main article: List of Wimbledon champions (and the Championships by year)

Records

Record Era Player(s) Count Winning years
Gentlemen since 1877
Winner of most Gentlemen's Singles titles Before 1968: William Renshaw 7 1881-86, 1889
After 1968: Pete Sampras 7 1993-95, 1997-2000
Winner of most consecutive Gentlemen's Singles titles Before 1968: William Renshaw 6 1881-86
After 1968: Björn Borg Roger Federer 5 1976-80 2003-07
Winner of most Gentlemen's Doubles titles Before 1968: Reggie Doherty & Laurie Doherty 8 1897-1901, 1903-05
After 1968: Todd Woodbridge 9 1993-97, 2000 (with Mark Woodforde), 2002-04 (with Jonas Björkman)
Winner of most consecutive Gentlemen's Doubles titles Before 1968: Reggie Doherty & Laurie Doherty 5 1897-1901
After 1968: Todd Woodbridge & Mark Woodforde 5 1993-97
Winner of most Mixed Doubles titles - Gentlemen Before 1968: Ken Fletcher Vic Seixas 4 1963, 1965-66, 1968 (with Margaret Court) 1953-56 (3 with Doris Hart, 1 with Shirley Fry Irvin)
After 1968: Owen Davidson 4 1967, 1971, 1973-74 (with Billie Jean King)
Winner of most Championships (total: singles, doubles, mixed) - Gentlemen Before 1968: William Renshaw 14 1880-1889 (7 singles, 7 doubles)
After 1968: Todd Woodbridge 9 1993-2004 (9 doubles)
Ladies since 1884
Winner of most Ladies' Singles titles Before 1968: Helen Wills 8 1927-30, 1932-33, 1935, 1938
After 1968: / Martina Navrátilová 9 1978-79,1982-1987, 1990
Winner of most consecutive Ladies' Singles titles Before 1968: Suzanne Lenglen 5 1919-1923
After 1968: / Martina Navrátilová 6 1982-1987
Winner of most Ladies' Doubles titles Before 1968: Elizabeth Ryan 12 1914 (with Agatha Morton), 1919-23, 1925 (with Suzanne Lenglen), 1926 (with Mary Browne), 1927, 1930 (with Helen Wills), 1933-34 (with Simone Mathieu)
Billie Jean King 10 1961-62 (with Karen Hantze Susman), 1965 (with Maria Bueno), 1967-68, 1970-71, 1973 (with Rosie Casals), 1972 (with Betty Stove), 1979 (with Martina Navrátilová)
After 1968: / Martina Navrátilová 7 1976 (with Chris Evert), 1979 (with Billie Jean King), 1981-84, 1986 (with Pam Shriver)
Winner of most consecutive Ladies' Doubles titles Before 1968: Suzanne Lenglen & Elizabeth Ryan 5 1919-23
After 1968: / Martina Navrátilová & Pam Shriver/ Natasha Zvereva 4 1981-84 1991 (with Larisa Neiland), 1992-94 (Gigi Fernandez)
Winner of most Mixed Doubles titles - ladies Before 1968: Elizabeth Ryan 7 1919, 1921, 1923 (with Randolph Lycett), 1927 (with Frank Hunter), 1928 (with Patrick Spence), 1930 (with Jack Crawford), 1932 (with Enrique Maier)
After 1968: / Martina Navrátilová 4 1985 (with Paul McNamee), 1993 (with Mark Woodforde), 1995 (with Jonathan Stark), 2003 (with Leander Paes)
Winner of most Championships (total: singles, doubles, mixed) - ladies Before 1968: Billie Jean King 20 1961-1979 (6 singles, 10 doubles, 4 mixed)
Elizabeth Ryan 19 1914-1934 (12 doubles, 7 mixed)
After 1968: / Martina Navrátilová 20 1976-2003 (9 singles, 7 doubles, 4 mixed)
Miscellaneous
Most matches played (men) Jean Borotra 223
Most matches played (women) / Martina Navrátilová 326
Loser of most singles finals (men or women) Chris Evert
Blanche Bingley Hillyard
7
Lowest-ranked winner (men or women) Goran Ivanišević 125th
The only wildcard winner (men or women) Goran Ivanišević 2001
Lowest-ranked winner (women) Venus Williams 31st (23rd seed) 2007
Youngest winner (men) Boris Becker 17 1985
Youngest winner (Ladies' Singles) Lottie Dod 15 1887
Youngest winner (Ladies' Doubles) Martina Hingis 15 1996
Longest final (men) Roger Federer vs
Rafael Nadal
4hrs 48mins 2008

Wimbledon in popular culture

  • Episode seven of the TV show Monty Python's Flying Circus features a tennis-playing blancmange that attempts to win Wimbledon by turning otherwise normal people into Scotsmen (as, according to the show, Scotland is the "worst tennis-playing nation on Earth"), but is eaten mid-match by a certain Mr and Mrs Brainsample.
  • In Bon Voyage, Charlie Brown (and Don't Come Back ) (1980), Snoopy plays tennis at Wimbledon.
  • Wimbledon, is a 2004 film starring Paul Bettany and Kirsten Dunst as tennis champions.
  • In an episode of Family Guy, Peter Griffin talks about sneaking into the tournament.
  • In the episode "Kamp Krusty" in The Simpsons, Krusty the Klown is at Wimbledon when he should be at the camp.
  • Get Fuzzy: On 20 April 2007, as Satchel is reading a Wikipedia entry about Bucky's debut album, Bucky implores Satchel to "scroll down to the bit about where I won Wimbledon."
  • In Anthony Horowitz's Alex Rider novel Skeleton Key, Alex offers to help at Wimbledon for two chapters.
  • In episode one of the first series of Peter Kay's Phoenix Nights the character Kenny played by Archie Kelly can be quoted saying 'I was on centre court, I wasn't even seeded!'
  • An episode of children's TV cartoon series of Scooby Doo is set at Wimbledon, but bears little or no resemblance to the actual location or championships.
  • In 2005, Snoop Dogg and Justin Timberlake collaborated on the music single 'Signs', which features the line "You'll see Venus and Serena, in the Wimbledon Arena". It is a reference to the Williams sisters, two of the most successful players in women's tennis.

See also

Notes and references

External links

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