Wimbledon Ė some facts
The organisation of Wimbledon is somewhat complicated. Wimbledon is actually a large number of tournaments, all being held at the same time, including menís and womenís singles and doubles events, mixed doubles, singles and doubles youth tournaments (also split by gender), menís and womenís singles contests for older players, and wheelchair tennis (doubles only).
Most of the tournaments work the same way. Whether players are allowed into the tournament or not is decided by committee, based on current world rankings (although they may also choose to admit Ďwild cardí players with lower rankings than the rest). In theory, Wimbledon is still a relatively open tournament, as players who arenít selected this way can enter a qualifying tournament the week before Wimbledon. Unfortunately, no player who has got in by this route has ever actually won.
If youíre wondering when itís on, the answer is that it varies, but itíll always start sometime in late June. Wimbledon is over quite quickly, though, only lasting for two weeks.
When it comes to the actual tournament, matches are played in three sets in every event except the menís, where there are five (this is a matter of some controversy). The tournaments are played as straight knockouts, meaning that you only have to lose one match to be eliminated Ė the winner must, therefore, win every match they play in. For this reason, it is not uncommon to see players leave the tournament unexpectedly early if they have an unlucky draw and end up playing a particularly strong player early on. This structure also means that while 128 players start the tournament, 64 of them never make it past their first match.
To the victor, however, go the spoils. As well as their trophies, the winners of the singles tournaments get over £600,000, while the winners of the doubles pocket more than £200,000, with the total prize money for all entrants exceeding ten million pounds.
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