Anyone for strawberries and cream?
Wimbledon is the oldest tennis tournament in the whole world – it has taken place every summer since 1877, making it well over a century old. The tournament has always been played in Wimbledon (a part of south London), and has been in its current grounds since 1922.
Every year, Wimbledon is an event that is followed around the world and with special interest in Britain. Unfortunately, despite everyone hoping for a win every year, no British man has won the competition since 1936 (before the war!), and no British woman has won since 1977. Most recently, British people have been pinning their hopes on Tim Henman, but he has failed to deliver year after year, and now looks past his prime.
The tournament is steeped in traditions, some of which are controversial. Female players are always referred to as ‘Miss’ or ‘Mrs’, which some feel is patronising, and players are also required to bow or curtsy to the Queen if she is present. Players are required to wear almost entirely white clothing, which many resent. Until recently, all the officials, ball boys and so on wore the traditional colour of green, but the outfits have now been redesigned by Ralph Lauren in blue.
One of the most popular Wimbledon traditions is strawberries and cream – the food that people eat while they watch it, whether it’s at the court, outside on the screen fields, at home, or in a pub. Every year, spectators get through over 28,000 kilos of strawberries and almost 6,000 litres of cream.
Today, Wimbledon is the only one of the important ‘Grand Slam’ tournaments to be played on grass (the others are on hard surfaces). Amusingly, the same winner’s trophy has been in use for over a century, and it still has inscribed on it “The All-England Lawn Tennis Club Single-Handed Champion of the World” – perhaps a slight overstatement, but sweet all the same.
About the Author: John Gibb is the owner of Wimbledon facts
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