The Championships, Wimbledon

The Championships, Wimbledon
Wimbledon.svg
Official website
Founded1877; 141 years ago (1877)
Editions131 (2017)
LocationLondon
England, UK
VenueThe All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club
SurfaceGrass outdoors[a]
Prize money£31,600,000 (2017)[1]
Men's
Draw128S (128Q) / 64D (16Q)[b]
Current championsRoger Federer (singles)
Łukasz Kubot / Marcelo Melo (doubles)
Most singles titlesRoger Federer (8)
Most doubles titlesTodd Woodbridge (9)
Women's
Draw128S (96Q) / 64D (16Q)
Current championsGarbiñe Muguruza (singles)
Ekaterina Makarova / Elena Vesnina (doubles)
Most singles titlesMartina Navratilova (9)
Most doubles titlesElizabeth Ryan (12)
Mixed doubles
Draw48
Current championsMartina Hingis / Jamie Murray
Most titles (male)Ken Fletcher (4)
Vic Seixas (4)
Owen Davidson (4)
Leander Paes (4)
Most titles (female)Elizabeth Ryan (7)
Grand Slam
Last completed
2017 Wimbledon

The Championships, Wimbledon, commonly known simply as Wimbledon, is the oldest tennis tournament in the world, and is widely regarded as the most prestigious.[2][3][4][5][6] It has been held at the All England Club in Wimbledon, London, since 1877 and is played on outdoor grass courts.

Wimbledon is one of the four Grand Slam tennis tournaments, the others being the Australian Open, the French Open and the US Open. Since the Australian Open shifted to hardcourt in 1988, Wimbledon is the only major still played on grass.

The tournament traditionally took place over two weeks in late June and early July, starting on the third Monday in June[7] and culminating with the Ladies' and Gentlemen's Singles Finals, scheduled for the Saturday and Sunday at the end of the second week. However recent changes to the tennis calendar have seen the event moved back by two weeks cumulatively to begin in early July.[8][9] Five major events are held each year, with additional junior and invitational competitions also taking place.

Wimbledon traditions include a strict dress code for competitors and Royal patronage. Strawberries and cream is traditionally consumed at the tournament.[10] In 2017, fans consumed 34,000kg of English strawberries and 10,000 litres of cream.[11] The tournament is also notable for the absence of sponsor advertising around the courts. In 2009, Wimbledon's Centre Court was fitted with a retractable roof to lessen the loss of playing time due to rain.

History

Beginning

The All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club is a private club founded on 23 July 1868, originally as "The All England Croquet Club". Its first ground was at Nursery Road off Worple Road, Wimbledon.[12]

In 1876, lawn tennis, a game devised by Major Walter Clopton Wingfield a year or so earlier as an outdoor version of court tennis and originally given the name Sphairistikè, was added to the activities of the club. In spring 1877, the club was renamed "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 administered by the Marylebone Cricket Club, was drawn up for the event. 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 inaugural 1877 Wimbledon Championship started on 9 July 1877 and the Gentlemen's Singles was the only event held. It 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.[13]

The lawns at the ground were arranged so that the principal court was in the middle with the others arranged around it, hence the title "Centre Court".[c] The name was retained when the Club moved in 1922 to the present site in Church Road, although no longer a true description of its location.[15] 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 described. The opening of the new No. 1 Court in 1997 emphasised the description.

Ladies Championship, 1884. First prize, awarded to Maud Watson, was a silver flower-basket worth 20 guineas.

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 1899.

In 1884, the club added Ladies' Singles and Gentlemen's Doubles competitions. Ladies' Doubles and Mixed Doubles events were added in 1913. Until 1922, the reigning champion had to play only in the final, against whomever had won through to challenge him/her. As with the other three Major or Grand Slam events, Wimbledon was contested by top-ranked amateur players, professional players were prohibited from participating. This changed with the advent of the open era in 1968. No British man won the singles event at Wimbledon between Fred Perry in 1936 and Andy Murray in 2013, while no British woman has won since Virginia Wade in 1977, although Annabel Croft and Laura Robson won the Girls' Championship in 1984 and 2008 respectively. The Championship was first televised in 1937.

Though properly called "The Championships, Wimbledon", depending on sources the event is also known as "The All England Lawn Tennis Championships", "The Wimbledon Championships" or simply "Wimbledon". From 1912 to 1924, the tournament was recognized by the International Lawn Tennis Federation as the "World Grass Court Championships".

21st century

Wimbledon is considered the world's premier tennis tournament and the priority of the Club is to maintain its leadership. To that end a long-term plan was unveiled in 1993, intended to improve the quality of the event for spectators, players, officials and neighbours.[16] Stage one (1994–1997) of the plan was completed for the 1997 championships and involved building the new No. 1 Court in Aorangi Park, a broadcast centre, two extra grass courts and a tunnel under the hill linking Church Road and Somerset Road. Stage two (1997–2009) involved the removal of the old No. 1 Court complex to make way for the new Millennium Building, providing extensive facilities for players, press, officials and members, and the extension of the West Stand of the Centre Court with 728 extra seats. Stage three (2000–2011) has been completed with the construction of an entrance building, club staff housing, museum, bank and ticket office.[17]

A new retractable roof was built in time for the 2009 championships, marking the first time that rain did not stop play for a lengthy time on Centre Court. The Club tested the new roof at an event called A Centre Court Celebration on Sunday, 17 May 2009, which featured exhibition matches involving Andre Agassi, Steffi Graf, Kim Clijsters and Tim Henman. The first Championship match to take place under the roof was the completion of the fourth round women's singles match between Dinara Safina and Amélie Mauresmo. The first match to be played in its entirety under the new roof took place between Andy Murray and Stanislas Wawrinka on 29 June 2009. Murray was also involved in the match completed latest in the day at Wimbledon, which ended at 11:02 pm in a victory over Marcos Baghdatis at Centre Court in the third round of the 2012 Championships. The 2012 Men's Singles Final on 8 July 2012, between Roger Federer and Murray, was the first final to be played under the roof, which was activated during the third set.[d]

A new 4000-seat No. 2 Court was built on the site of the old No. 13 Court in time for the 2009 Championships.[18] A new 2000-seat No. 3 Court was built on the site of the old No. 2 and No. 3 Courts.[19]

Other Languages
беларуская (тарашкевіца)‎: Ўімбэлданскі турнір
hrvatski: Wimbledon
Ilokano: Wimbledon
Bahasa Indonesia: Kejuaraan Wimbledon
Lëtzebuergesch: Wimbledon Championships
македонски: Вимблдон
മലയാളം: വിംബിൾഡൺ
polski: Wimbledon
sicilianu: Wimbledon
slovenčina: Wimbledon (tenis)
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Wimbledonski teniski turnir
татарча/tatarça: Wimbldon tennis yarışı