Wimbledon Tennis Tournament – 11 Crazy Awesome Interesting Facts You Probably Didn’t Know
Every June, about 2,500 broadcasters blanket the airwaves with the Wimbledon Tennis Tournament. The All England Club which hosts the competition is home to 22 practice grass courts and 19 Championship grass courts. That’s a lot of courts! And with a lot of courts comes unbelievable tennis and some interesting facts. Here are some of the most interesting facts about the Wimbledon Tennis Tournament:
The tournament grounds has a terrible problem with pigeons. So much so, that a hawk named Rufus is placed on the grounds to scare them away. Rufus has been scaring away pigeons for about 15 years. Previous to his tenure was a hawk named Hamish. Rufus patrols 42 acres of the grounds. In 2012, Rufus was actually stolen from the back of his owner’s car, and found three days after in good health. Rufus is widely known as the most popular bird in England, in fact, he has his own Twitter account, tweet, tweet.
During World War 2, 5 bombs hit center court, destroying 1,200 seats. It took 9 years to restore the court.
The first Wimbledon tennis tournament was played in 1877, making it the oldest tennis tournament in the world. Men’s singles was the only event that year. Seven years later, the ladies singles draw was introduced.
With 41 courts on the ground, a ton of balls must be used right? Well, over 54,000 over the span of the two week tournament to be exact. The balls are replaced after every seven to nine games to make sure they play consistently new for the players. Here’s a fun fact within a fun fact, the balls at Wimbledon were once white. It wasn’t until 1986 when the white balls were replaced with yellow balls. Why the switch? Yellow balls are easier to see for TV viewers.
Best Wimbledon Points
Wimbledon is the only grand slam played on grass. The players play on 100% perennial ryegrass that stands at only 8mm tall.
Tim Henman was the first person to be disqualified from Wimbledon. In 1995 he lost his temper and smashed a ball straight into the face of an innocent ball girl. Don’t worry, they’re on good terms, the both of them are pictured below.
Every year, around 59,500 pounds of strawberries and 1,850 gallons of cream are sold to spectators on the grounds of Wimbledon.
About half a million spectators cover the grounds of Wimbledon during the two week championship
Mita Klima from Austria is the youngest player to ever compete at Wimbledon. She was only 13 years old when she first competed, a record that has stood for over 100 years
Standing at less than 5 feet tall, the shortest player ever to compete at Wimbledon was Gertrude Hoahing, who stood 4 ft. 9 in. tall.
The longest match in recorded history was played at Wimbledon in 2010. 23rd seed John Isner defeated qualifier Nicolas Mahut 70-68 in the fifth round after over 11 hours of play. They both served over 100 aces in that match and the last set alone took over 8 hours to complete.
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