8 Wild Wimbledon Facts You Probably Didn’t Know

From the tennis tourney’s resident pigeon-terrorizing hawk to the fate of each champ’s trophy, MaximBet has you covered.

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The most anticipated two weeks of tennis is underway. Also known simply as The Championships, Wimbledon is often viewed as the world’s most prestigious and celebrated tennis event, attracting tens of thousands of spectators each day, including the Royals and the biggest celebrities. We’re serving up 8 of the Wimbledon’s most intriguing facts below:

Wimbledon Is The World’s Oldest Tennis Championship

First held in 1877, Wimbledon is the oldest tennis tournament on the globe. Originally, the men’s singles was the only event played. In 1884, they added women’ singles and men’s doubles, with women’s and mixed doubles added in 1913. And originally, the first Wimbledon tourney was only staged to raise money for croquet equipment. That’s right. The All-England Croquet Club was formed in 1868 and they didn’t start playing tennis until 1875. Later, the club would drop “Croquet” from its name to become the All-England Club.

Wimbledon Is The Only Grand Slam Event On Grass

Wimbledon is one of four tennis tournaments that make up the Grand Slam. What sets it apart from the other tournaments is Wimbledon is the only Grand Slam event played on grass courts. That distinction means players must constantly reevaluate and adjust their play, as the grass courts slowly lose moisture, get patches, and change from match to match. And the Wimbledon crew like to be precise. During the event, the grass on the courts is cut to exactly 8mm.

Strawberries Are Big At Wimbledon

Wimbledon is big on strawberries. In fact, strawberries and cream has been the signature dessert of the tennis tournament since its beginning. Just how popular is this classic treat? Fans at Wimbledon consume an average of 61,800 pounds of strawberries and 2,640 gallons of cream every year! Amazingly, all the strawberries come from one single farm. 

Wimbledon Has Its Own Hawk

Pigeons are definitely unwelcome at Wimbledon. Organizers are so intent on keeping the sky and grounds clear of the cooing little pests that the tournament employs its own Harris Hawk named Rufus to scare them away. At 9 a.m. most mornings, Rufus is sent out to fly over the tournament grounds and keep the local pigeons in check. As an employee, Rufus even has his own All-England Club member ID card. 

Winners Don’t Keep Their Trophies

Maybe they don’t want to see the precious silver trophy damaged. But Wimbledon’s winners don’t get to keep their trophy. The real deal sticks around the All-England Club’s museum, while champions have to settle for taking home a smaller replica trophy. 

Wimbledon Has A Strict Dress Code

As the oldest and most prestigious tennis tournament in the world, it’s no surprise Wimbledon has a few rules to keep up appearances. One notable rule is that all players must be dressed entirely in white to compete. Officials can even require players to change clothes if they feel they’re not adhering to the regulation. White clothes on a grass court? Somebody better have a Tide stick handy. 

Wimbledon Has A Lot Of Balls

As you’d imagine, a lot of tennis balls get used during the two-week tournament. But you still may be shocked to learn that Wimbledon goes through around 54,000 tennis balls every year. Another ballsy fact: they were white until 1986, when they were replaced with a yellow variety so they could be seen better by television viewers. 

Longest Match In Wimbledon History

The longest Wimbledon match was also the longest tennis match in history. The final set of each Wimbledon match must be won by two games, and not a tiebreaker. Because of this, in 2010 John Isner and Nicolas Mahut spent 11 hours and five minutes (spread out over three days) fighting it out on the court. Isner ended up winning the historic match 70-68. 

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