Wimbledon is the oldest and most prestigious tennis tournament in the world! Therefore Wimbledon history is a rich subject and very interesting to explore!
The All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club is the host of the tournament which was first held in 1877. Nowadays Wimbledon is one of the biggest sporting events in the world! It is one of the four major tennis tournaments in the world (the Grand Slams), taking place every year in June/July following the Australian Open and French Open in the calendar year.
Wimbledon – All About Tradition!
Among tennis players Wimbledon is widely regarded as the most important tournament to win. This is certainly due to Wimbledon history and the tradition that comes with that. When watching Wimbledon, either on site or on TV, one can always notice the historic feeling of the event.
Check out this Wimbledon Tour Video
to get a feel for Wimbledon History!
The tournament has made it a mission to stick with traditions and stay away from too much modernisation.
Wimbledon is the only tournament where players
still have to wear 90% white colours!
Even Andre Agassi during his wild times, where he was used to wearing very colourful outfits on the court, had to obey to this rule! Tournament officials, ball boys and generally everyone official on site wears very traditional outfits as well. On most courts the score is still changed by someone manually rather than an electronic score.
Another tradition at Wimbledon is the seeding system. At all other tournaments players are seeded according to their World Ranking. If you are the number one player in the world you can be sure to be seeded number one at all tournaments except Wimbledon!
Throughout Wimbledon history, tournament officials have always adjusted the seeding according to how strong they believe someone?s game is on grass. So if you are a clay court expert ranked number one in the world you might only be seeded three or four at Wimbledon!
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Grass Court Tennis
Wimbledon is the only major still played on grass, which is the original surface that the game was played on in tennis history! Grass court tennis is quite different from Tennis on the other surfaces (hard and clay courts). Players have to deal with some bad bounces because the grass is often uneven. Also the grass results in a faster and lower ball bounce often favouring players with big serves and fast shots in general. Therefore a somewhat different skill-set is necessary to be successful on the grass at Wimbledon!
The tournament site is located in the south-west suburb of London called Wimbledon. In 1922 the tournament moved to its current location on Church Road. The Centre Court was constructed that same year which makes it understandable how traditional the feeling in the arena is!
A big part of Wimbledon history is rain delays. The weather is known to be unpredictable and at times matches can be suspended for days! Once the grass gets wet it takes a while for it to dry. The moment rain starts at Wimbledon you can see the ball boys and a whole crew of people getting into action trying to cover up the courts so they won?t get too wet.
In the past the rain delays have been difficult to deal with for players as well as spectators. The players had to go on and off the court many times and it was often uncertain when play could continue. Spectators who often had to wait hours in line to get tickets for Wimbledon could arrive on site and spend an entire day there without seeing anybody play because of the rain delays!
In 2009 a retractable roof was installed on the Wimbledon Centre Court so that at least all the matches on this court can be completed on rainy days!
The Wimbledon Final 2008 – Possibly The Greatest Match Ever!
Finally I want to mention the Wimbledon final 2008 between Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal. In my opinion this could be the best match in tennis history!
Check out this video to get a feel for the atmosphere
in this historic match!
In this match Rafael Nadal won his first Wimbledon title with a final score of 6-4 6-4 6-7 6-7 9-7. To understand the significance of this match there are a few important facts to understand.
Roger Federer was trying to equal the all-time record of six straight Wimbledon titles. Also Federer would have been the first player after Bjoern Borg to win the French Open and Wimbledon in one year. This is very difficult to achieve because of the different surfaces of those two tournaments and the different qualities necessary to win those tournaments.
Nadal on the other hand was aiming to become the first Spaniard since Manuel Santana in 1966 to win the prestigious event!
The match itself was of unbelievable quality with both players showing their absolute best. Two rain delays were also part of the match. This match ended up being the longest final in Wimbledon history with 4 hours and 48 minutes playing time!