Wimbledon facts and figures: From the venue to strawberries and cream

Wimbledon

We give you the lowdown on Wimbledon, the third Grand Slam of the year at the All England Club.

The oldest tournament
The Championships, Wimbledon, as it is officially known as, was first held at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club in 1877 and this year will mark the 132nd edition of the event while it will be the 125th staging of the Ladies’ Singles Championship.

In case you were wondering, the US Open is the next oldest Grand Slam as it was first held in 1881 while the French Open was established in 1891 and the Australian Open in 1905.

A bit about the venue

The All England Lawn Tennis Club, which is situated in Church Road, Wimbledon, was founded on July 23, 1868 as The All England Croquet Club. In 1877 the name was changed to the All England Croquet and Lawn Tennis Club and in 1899 they switched to The All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club.

The ground, including car parks and courts, covers 42 acres and consists of 18 grass courts, eight American Clay courts and five indoor courts, two Greenset Velvelux and three Greenset Trophy.

Centre Court, was opened in 1922 and today it boasts a retractable roof, which was installed ahead of the 2009 tournament, and houses 15,000 spectators.

The new No 1 Court was opened in 1997 and can seat about 11,000 people. Construction on the retractable roof is set to be completed in 2019.

A quick roll of honour
Great Britain’s Spencer Gore won the first trophy back in 1877 while Maud Watson won the inaugural Ladies’ Singles Championship in 1884.

Swiss Roger Federer is, of course, the reigning men’s champion while Garbine Muguruza from Spain won the women’s title last year.

Lukasz Kubot from Poland and Brazil’s Marcelo Melo are the reigning men’s doubles champions, Russian pair Ekaterina Makarova and Elena Vesnina won the women’s doubles last year while Jamie Murray and Martina Hingis combined to win the mixed doubles in 2017.

Old and young all win

Arthur Gore was 41 years and 182 days when he won the title in 1909 while Martina Navratilova was 33 years and eight months when she lifted the trophy in 1990.

Boris Becker still holds the record for the youngest male champion as he was 17 years and 227 days during his 1985 title run. Great Britain’s Lottie Dodd was 15 years and 285 days when she won the title in 1887.

A few records
Martina Navratilova holds the record for most singles titles with nine, which she won between 1978 and 1990 while Roger Federer has eight men’s trophies to his name.

Navratilova has won a total of 20 titles at Wimbledon (nine singles, seven doubles, four mixed doubles) along with Billie-Jean King (six singles, 10 doubles, four mixed doubles).

Let’s talk about THAT match
No Wimbledon facts and figures piece is complete with mentioning the longest-ever match between John Isner and Nicolas Mahut in 2010. It took 11 hours and five minutes to complete and was played over three days with Isner winning 6–4, 3–6, 6–7(7–9), 7–6(7–3), 70–68.

Guess how many balls they use?

10,000? 30,000? 50,000? The answer is roughly under 55,000 as in 2017 they used 54,250 balls.

When you take into consideration that 256 players, excluding qualifiers, compete in the singles at Wimbledon each year with 254 singles matches taking place over the fortnight, then it’s not much.

Centre Court and the No 1 Court use 48 cans per day.

And the winner will receive…
There was a 7.6% increase in prize money 2017 with the total coming to £34million and men and women will once again be earning the same amount.

The singles champions will each walk away with £2,250,000 while the runners-up will get a £1,125,000 cheque.

If you lose in the first round, you still earn £39,000.

Spend your winnings on strawberries and cream

An incredible 33,000kgs of strawberries and 10,000 litres of cream were consumed during Wimbledon in 2017.

The strawberries come from a farm in Kent and every morning two teams of 40 pickers pick more than 100,000 strawberries at 4am.

Rufus the Hawk
A Harris Hawk named Rufus “patrols” the grounds to prevent local pigeons from roosting there. Rufus flies around the All England Club at about 9am every morning for the duration of the Championships and he does so for about an hour.