Wimbledon Trivia

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– Dark green and purple are the traditional Wimbledon colours, but from 2006 the officials, ball boys and girls were outfitted in new navy blue and cream uniforms designed by Ralph Lauren.

– “Middle Sunday” is traditionally a rest day. However, rain has forced play on Middle Sunday three times in Wimbledon history: 1991, 1997 and 2004. Each time, Wimbledon staged a “People’s Sunday”, with unreserved and inexpensive tickets. All about the first Middle Sunday in 1991.

Henman Hill is an area on the grounds of the All England Club officially known as Aorangi Terrace. People without showcourts tickets can watch tennis matches on a giant television screen at the side of number one court. During Tim Henman‘s playing days, the area was the focal point of Henmania, where British tennis fans would fanatically support Henman.

– Last British woman to win Wimbledon is Virginia Wade in 1977. All about Virginia Wade’s triumph.

– Last British man to win Wimbledon was Fred Perry in 1936, last runner-up was Bunny Austin in 1938.
A bronze statue of Fred Perry was erected at the All England Club in 1984 to mark the 50th anniversary of his first singles championship.

Fred Perry statue

– During World War II, a bomb ripped through Centre Court and 1200 seats were damaged. Play resumed in 1946 but it wasn’t until 1949 that the area was back into shape.

– The trophies are presented by the President of the All England Club, The Duke of Kent, and by his sister, Princess Alexandra.

– Wimbledon is the only Grand Slam tournament to feature a Royal Box. The first Royal to visit Wimbledon was Crown Princess Stephanie of Austria in 1895. In 1926, Prince Albert, Duke of York (who later became King George VI and father of Queen Elizabeth II) entered the doubles event with his Royal Air Force tennis partner, Wing commander Louis Grieg.
Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II has visited Wimbledon only twice, to see Virginia Wade triumph in 1977, and in 2010. In 2008, after his epic win against Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal climbed up to the Royal Box, to greet Crown Prince Felipe and Crown Princess Felizia of Spain.

Rafael Nadal

Rafael Nadal

– The quotation above the player’s entrance to Centre Court is an extract from the poem if by Rudyard Kipling:

“If you can meet with triumph and disaster and treat those two impostors just the same”

– Wimbledon will host the Olympic tennis events in 2012.

With its Davis Cup team embarassing defeat against Lithuania in March, british tennis has reached a new low.
This loss – which costed captain John Lloyd his job – was Britain’s fifth in a row and they have now to face … Turkey(!) to avoid dropping into the lowest tier of the competition.

This Davis Cup disaster reflects how bad Britain is at tennis:

– Murray’s defeat at this year’s Oz Open final prolonged British Slam drought. Right after his semifinal win against Tsonga, Federer had joked that Britain had been searching for a male Grand Slam champion for about 150,000 years.
In fact it’s “only” 74 years: Fred Perry was the last to win a Slam in 1936 (he won Wimbledon and US Open that year).

Murray is actually the only british player in the top 100 (France and Spain have each 12 players in the top 100). But like Henman and Rusedski, he is not a product of british tennis structure, as he spent many years at the Sanchez-Casal academy in Spain.
Alex Bogdanovic, the second best ranked (number 166 as of June, 10 2010) could be seen as the poster child of british tennis failure: the 26 yr old has received a Wimbledon wild card eight years in a row, losing in the first round everytime.

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London calling

Big Ben, London

Unless some kind and generous sponsor offer me tickets and hotel, I won’t be able to go to London to cover Wimbledon.
So, if you happen to attend Wimbledon, please send me an email to share your story at contact @ tennis-buzz.com. You can also add you photos to our Flickr Tennis Buzz pool.