Wimbledon is the oldest tennis tournament in the world. It is traditionally held at the All England Club in Wimbledon, London, over two weeks in June. The Gentlemen's Singles and Ladies' Singles competitions are played as part of the tournament's singles competition, with both competitions awarding a single "Grand Slam" to the player who wins them. Wimbledon has been known as "the Championships," and thus its prize money has been know as "The Championship Prize Money," since 1924.
Wimbledon was first played in 1877, and this year is it's 140th event! Originally a ‘gentleman’s only’ event, it now welcomes all players.
A Brief History of Wimbledon
The All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, the home of Wimbledon, was founded in 1868. It was the world's first tennis club, founded just a year after the rules of lawn tennis were published, and a year before the All American Championships in Forest Hills.
Throughout the years, Wimbledon has changed significantly to accommodate increased interest and demand. For example, in 1924 they began awarding what they now call "The Championship Prize Money" as opposed to monetary prizes for each game won. In 1927 they created the Gentlemen's Singles again, which had been discontinued in 1896. Finally, in 1977 they allowed professionals to enter and compete alongside amateurs.
Wimbledon is one of four Grand Slam tournaments held each year - the others being Roland Garros (French Open), U.S. Open, and Australian Open - so it has a special significance for players attending these events. Players are traditionally given two weeks off from their WTA or ATP tour schedule to prepare for Wimbledon and try to peak on its hallowed grass courts for one last time before taking an extended break leading up to the next event on their tour schedules.
Wimbledon's Prize Money
The total prize money for Wimbledon is £24.8m, the most lucrative in tennis history.
This year's singles champions will take home £2.25m each, and the runner-ups are awarded £1.15m each. There are also prizes for the winners of the Gentlemen's and Ladies' Doubles events.
However, Wimbledon isn't just about the prize money!
There are many other ways to make money from playing tennis, as well as a variety of sponsorships available for players who perform well at Wimbledon.
The All England Club
The All England Club is one of the most famous tennis clubs in the world and has been home to Wimbledon since 1922. Situated in the small town of Wimbledon, southwest London, it is a private members' club with a prestigious membership list.
Strawberries and Cream
Strawberries and cream is a well-known dessert which is said to have originated at Wimbledon. It is often served as a dessert during Wimbledon, and also at many other social gatherings.
The dress code for the tournament is strict, but in the spirit of tradition. There is a strict "all-white" rule which has been in place since 1922.
Dress codes are always highly regulated at Wimbledon and make it so that players can easily identify one another on court. Other than the all-white rule, there are no other specific rules as to what players must wear. However, some players adhere to them more than others.
It's interesting that at Wimbledon, clothing is a form of self-expression. Some players have their own style that they're not afraid to showcase on court. For example, Andy Murray's kit includes a kilt and Roger Federer's includes a full Nike kit with Swoosh down the leg!
Wimbledon and The Weather
It is one of the most popular events in the sporting world, but Wimbledon is also a delicate event to plan. The weather during the two weeks of competition can change drastically and this can play havoc with scheduling.
The tournament takes place during a British Summer which means that the weather is usually sunny and warm. However, rain and heavy winds are not uncommon either.
One year there was even snow! The lawns that are used are specially grown on site and have been perfect for the tournament since 1987. They have to take into account that there might be wild changes in temperature and/or precipitation during their time in use as they must remain playable all day, every day. This means that sometimes they may have to close part or all of the courts depending on how wet they get.
Wimbledon is a major, international tennis tournament held annually in London, England. Established in 1877, the tournament was initially held at its namesake's private ground in south-west London. In 1882, after the club moved to a newly constructed site near Henman Hill in London's outer suburbs, the All England Club was officially renamed "The All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club", and then in 1924 it became The All England Lawn Tennis Club.
Wimbledon is played over two weeks in late June and early July, starting with three qualifying weeks followed by the main tournament, which lasts for 14 days. For the first time at Wimbledon 2013 more than 25% of the players were from outside of Europe. The tournament is an inclusive event, with all players allowed to compete regardless of nationality.
The event is notable for being the only one of the four Grand Slam tournaments held on grass courts. Most of the surface is converted to grass courts some years to allow for maintenance.