If you’re a tennis fan, you know that one of the biggest events in tennis is about to begin. The oldest tennis tournament in the world, The Championships, or Wimbledon, will bring thousands of tennis loving fans to England where they can take in one of the 675 matches that are scheduled between July 3 and July 16 this year.
Since 1877, some of the greatest in tennis - Martina Navratilova, Billie Jean King, Björn Borg, Serena & Venus Williams, Roger Federer, Steffi Graff, and Andre Agassi - to name a few - have showcased their skills on the only one of the four Grand Slam competitions played on grass.
Of all the matches, the Men’s and Women’s Singles are often the most anticipated. This year’s favorites are Novak Djokovic (Serbia) for the men and Iga Świątek (Poland) for the women. The 36 year old Djokovic is going for his 8th Wimbledon win (including the last 4 titles). Świątek is currently ranked #1 and is Poland’s first player to win a major singles title. These two may be the frontrunners, but there’s a number of other players vying for the win. For the men, keep an eye on Carlos Alcaraz (Spain); at only 19, he is working his way up the ranks and is considered an all-court, all-round tennis player. On the women’s side, Elena Rybakina (Kazakhstan) will be looking to defend her win from last year.
To get you ready for the upcoming tournament, we’re serving up some fun Wimbledon facts you can use to impress your friends....
The tennis balls weren’t always yellow - they were white! In 1986 Wimbledon made the change to yellow balls; this gave the television audience better visibility of the ball
The grass is cared for year-round and during the event it’s cut daily to ensure the exact height of 8mm is kept
To scare away pigeons each morning from the courts, Wimbledon has its own Hawk named Rufus - he even has his ownTwitter account with over 10K followers!
54,250 tennis balls are used during the tournament
There are about 250 ball boys & girls (BBG's) who will be hired and trained to keep track of the tennis balls
The longest match in Wimbledon history happened in 2010 and lasted 11 hours and five minutes. John Isner (United States) defeated Nicolas Mahut (France) - the match was played over the course of three days!
Also in 2010, Taylor Dent (United States) achieved the fastest ever serve at Wimbledon against Novak Djokovic - 148 mph/238.2kmh!
The go to treat at Wimbledon is strawberries & cream; each year more than 38.4 tons of strawberries (that's ~1.92 million strawberries) and 10,000 liters (over 2500 gallons) of cream are consumed
There are about 2,500 broadcasters that work on getting The Championships televised around the world. Find out if your location will be broadcasting the matches here.
As a reminder, Wimbledon will be starting up on July 3 - who will you be rooting for? Are there any matches that you are looking forward to seeing? Drop us a comment below and let us know! And don't forget to get out and record your tennis activities on Strava to share with your friends!
Cheers, Scout (she/her) STRAVA | Community Hub Team