10 fun facts about Wimbledon
Wimbledon is one of the world’s most celebrated tennis events, as well as an annual celebration of sport that marks a particular moment in British summertime. Pimm’s, strawberries and sunburn – it is part of our national consciousness.
Taking place at the All England Club in London, the Wimbledon Championships run for two weeks and attract over 500,000 spectators. Here we take look at some fun facts about one of the biggest sporting shows on earth.
1. 54,250 tennis balls are used during the Championships period.
2. At start of each day, 48 tins of tennis balls are taken onto Centre and No.1 Courts and 24 on all outside courts.
3. Tennis balls weren’t always yellow. The originally white balls were replaced in 1986 so that they could be seen more easily on television.
4. The tournament commands a global news access audience estimated at more than 1 billion people in 200 territories.
5. Wimbledon is the largest single annual sporting catering operation in Europe: serving 234,000 meals, 330,000 cups of tea and coffee, 140,000 portions of English strawberries, 10,000 litres of dairy cream and 29,000 bottles of champagne, among other things.
6. Wimbledon began in 1877 at the All England Club in the London suburb of Wimbledon as Gentlemen’s Single Championship, making it the oldest tennis tournament in the world. Only 22 players participated.
7. Wimbledon rules state that all players must be dressed almost entirely in white. Umpires can ask a player to change if they don’t meet the dress code.
8. Wimbledon is the only Grand Slam that is played on grass courts. And during the event, the grass is cut to a height of exactly 8 mm.
9. Wimbledon has its own Hawk called Rufus whose job is to scare away pigeons each morning from the tennis courts.
10. During the course of Wimbledon fortnight, the repairs team string about 2,000 rackets and use more than 40 miles of string.