7 Fascinating Facts about Wimbledon

Centre Court in 1883, Challenge Round between William and Ernest Renshaw

Centre Court in 1883 Challenge Round between William and Ernest Renshaw

  1. The first Wimbledon Championship was held in 1877. It was the world’s first official lawn tennis tournament and took place at the All England Croquet and Lawn Tennis Club.
  2. The first crowd was of about 200 people who each paid a shilling entry fee. The winner, 27-year-old Spencer Gore from Wandsworth, received 12 guineas in prize money and a silver challenge cup. Gore beat William Marshall 6-1, 6-2, 6-4.
  3. The longest sponsors of Wimbledon are Slazenger who have been linked to the tennis championship for 103 years. Next comes Robinsons (now Britvic), whose famous barley water was first introduced by Eric Smedley Hodgson, to hydrate the players in the changing rooms.
  4. Every morning during the Championship, a harris hawk named Rufus circles the sky above Wimbledon to deter the local pigeons. Rufus is one of Britain’s best-known birds, with 5,000 followers on Twitter.
  5. The first non-Brit to win the Championship was Norman Brookes from Australia who beat Arthur Gore in 1907. When Andy Murray took the trophy in 2013, he was the first Briton to win in 77 years. Fred Perry had been his predecessor who won in 1934, 1935 and 1936.
  6. Women began to compete at Wimbledon in 1884. Martina Navratilova (Czech) was the winner of the most women’s singles titles. She took the trophy 9 times. The youngest ever winner of the ladies’ singles was Lottie Dod who was 15 years and 285 days old. In 2007 the prize money for men and women was made equal with Roger Federer and Venus Williams both winning £700,000.
  7. Wimbledon’s signature snack of strawberries was not introduced until 1953 and the addition of cream didn’t come until 1970. This year, fans will enjoy over 23 tonnes of fresh strawberries and 7000 litres of cream!

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