The Championships, Wimbledon was first hosted by the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club in 1877 and has been hosted on the original grass surface ever since.
Ever since its inception, the Wimbledon Championships has been steeped in history and has an abundance of special and unique traditions.
Most notable traditions at Wimbledon
- Ladies and gentlemen
The women’s event is to this day still referred to as the “Ladies” event and the men’s is referred to as the “gentlemen’s” event. Women are referred to as Mrs or Miss and men as Mr.
- Dress code
One of the most visible traditions is the strict all white dress code for players. This rule has been in place since the inception of the championships in 1877 and has been enforced ever since. They have become even stricter lately with Roger Federer finding out one year that he had to change his tennis shoes because the sole of the shoe was not white.
- Strawberries and cream
One of the most unique traditions at Wimbledon is the strawberries and cream that is served as the staple snack on a daily basis. Over 2 million strawberries are consumed every year with 9000 serving being dished out daily. There are a number of theories as to how the tradition came about ranging from King George V introducing it, to strawberries being served to represent the start of summer, whilst others say it was started way back in the beginning in 1877.
- Royal Family
Wimbledon is the only Grand Slam that is patronised by a Royal Family. Members of the English Royal Family regularly attend matches. Furthermore the Duke of Kent is the President of the All England Club. One of the traditions instilled is that when the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh are in attendance at matches, the players must bow or courtesy to acknowledge their presence.
- Advertisement free courts
A noticeable tradition is the presence of no branding or sponsorship advertisements being showcased around the courts at Wimbledon. This is because the club has always sought to retain the unique image and character of the Championships.
- Middle Sunday and tennis Nirvana
The middle Sunday at Wimbledon is always a rest day and no matches are scheduled, however due to rain delays matches have been played on the Sunday on three occasions. On these occasions a “Peoples Sunday” was implemented with unreserved seating and inexpensive tickets being made available allowing for people to attend Wimbledon where they would not previously have been able to afford tickets.
The Monday after the middle Sunday is known as “Tennis Nirvana” because it is one of the best days on the tennis calendar where all the sixteen men and women players left in the draw play on the same day for a spot in the quarter finals.
- Henman Hill
Those who cannot get tickets for the stadium can watch matches on an outdoor mound called Henman Hill which is named after former English star, Tim Henman. Nowadays Henman Hill is referred to as “Murray Mound,” where spectators gather in large numbers to watch matches on a big screen.
What makes Wimbledon such a special tournament is all the traditions and history that is associated with the Championships. Keeping with tradition is why Wimbledon, played on the hallowed lawns of the All England Lawn Tennis Club, is the greatest spectacle of tennis in the world.
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