The Wimbledon championship, simply called Wimbledon is the oldest and most prestigious tennis tournament in the world. It started in 1877 at The All England Croquet and Lawn Tennis Club when the only tennis event held at the tournament was the Gentlemen’s Singles, won by Spencer Gore. This event was watched by 200 spectators who paid one shilling each to watch the match.
In 1884, the Women’s Singles event was introduced to the tournament. The first winner of this was Maud Watson. In the same year, the Gentlemen’s Doubles began and the popularity of Wimbledon was starting to grow and the stadium was made bigger to allow in more spectators. In the 1800s, the biggest crowds were seen at the matches played by British twins Ernest and William Renshaw. Between them they won 13 titles between 1881 and 1889. This time was named the ‘Renshaw Rush’. Then in 1897 the Doherty brothers did the same and they ruled the tournament for the next decade.
Some may say that the same could be happening with the British player Andy Murray in the present day. After winning Wimbledon in 2013 he has had the nation hooked and hopeful that he could win again this year. He is set to play Roger Federer on Friday 10th of July in the Gentlemen’s Singles semi-final which will no doubt make for a very interesting match. Federer beat Murray in a very emotional Wimbledon final in 2012 and then Murray went on to win Olympic gold against Federer in the same year so they will both have a point to prove. On Thursday 9th of July Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova will be playing for their place in the Women’s Singles which will be shown on Saturday 11th of July against Garbine Muguruza. Muguruza is the first Spanish woman in 19 years to reach the Wimbledon final and is bound to put up a good fight to win the Championship.
As Wimbledon is such a long-standing tournament it clearly has a lot of historic moments and interesting facts. Here are some interesting facts about Wimbledon that you may not know:
1) In 1995, Tim Henman was the first player to ever be disqualified from the tournament. He was disqualified when he lost his temper and hit a ball into the face of a young ball girl. However, Henman was horrified when he found out that he had hit the girl so bought her some flowers to apologise.
2) During World War II, five bombs hit Centre Court, destroying 1,200 seats, this took nine years to rebuild.
3) It was only in 2007 that the prize money for men and women was equalised, this was thanks to campaigning by Venus Williams and others.
4) The youngest player to play at Wimbledon was only 13 years old. Her name was Mita Kilma and she entered the tournament in 1907.
Blog by Kathleen Shuster
Kathleen Shuster is the Social Media Manager for Education Quizzes.