10 Facts You Didn’t Know About Wimbledon

The most distinguished tennis event of the year is coming up, which means it’s time to celebrate with a healthy helping of strawberries and creme and then wash it down with a Pimm’s Cup cocktail. With the 2024 Wimbledon tournament commencing on July 1st, let’s take a look at some Wimbledon facts that you might not have known.

1. The Oldest Tennis Tournament in the World

That’s right, the Wimbledon Championships is the oldest tennis tournament in existence. Held once a year at the All-England Club in London, not only is Wimbledon the oldest tournament still around, but it’s the only “major” tournament still played on its original surface, grass.

2. Players Must Wear White

Roger Federer 2019 Wimbledon

In accordance with the tournament’s long-standing heritage, all players must wear predominantly white at Wimbledon. This tradition dates back to the Victorian Era when sweat was deemed improper. In 2022, Nick Kyrgios was allegedly fined $16,000 for wearing a red hat and red sneakers while walking onto the court before his match. While this practice still lives on, it is certainly less strict than it used to be.

3. The Only Grand Slam to be Played on Grass

Wimbledon Whites blog

Wimbledon is, and probably will be forever, the only tennis Grand Slam to be played on a grass surface. While the US Open and Australian Open are played on hard courts, Wimbledon and Rolland Garros are the only two that are quite literally defined by the surface the players compete on.

4. Longest Tennis Match in History

At the 2010 Wimbledon Championships, John Isner and Nicolas Mahut played the longest match in tennis history. The match was played over three days and lasted for a total of 11 hours and 5 minutes. This was all thanks to a Wimbledon rule that disallowed the 5th set to end in a tie break; matches had to conclude with one player winning by two games over their opponent. This record will not likely be broken, as Grand Slams have agreed that if a match reaches 6-6 in the 5th set, players will decide the match by playing a 10-point tiebreak.

5. Rufus the Hawk

Rufus works year-round at the All England Club grounds, warding off pigeons who might cause a disturbance on the court. About four hours before play, Rufus patrols the grounds, scaring off any pigeons who might want to land on the court’s pristine grass. In 2012, Rufus was stolen for three days until an anonymous caller revealed his location to the police, and he was rescued.

6. Men’s and Women’s Record Title Holders

Tennis – Wimbledon – All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, London, Britain – July 9, 2022 Kazakhstan’s Elena Rybakina poses with the trophy after winning the women’s singles final against Tunisia’s Ons Jabeur REUTERS/Hannah Mckay

It’s a well-known fact that Roger Federer holds the most Men’s Wimbledon titles with 8, but did you know Martina Navratilova holds the most Women’s Wimbledon titles with 9?

7. Surviving a Bombing

Wimbledon’s Centre Court is the oldest court for any Grand Slam tournament, and in 1940, during WWII, the Germans dropped over 1000 bombs on the borough of Wimbledon. Many homes were destroyed and one bomb hit Centre Court, destroying the competitors’ stands and nearly 1,200 seats. It wasn’t repaired until 1947.

8. Wimbledon Delicacies

Photo by Clem Onojeghuo on Unsplash

At Wimbledon, spectators and fans enjoy eating the famous strawberries and creme, and if they are thirsty the most popular beverage is the Pimms Cup, a gin-based concoction mixed with lemon and ginger ale.

9. That’s a Lot of Balls

Throughout the tournament, approximately 54, 250 tennis balls are used throughout the matches. These balls are inspected and replaced constantly, and fans can even purchase them once the tournament is over.

10. Wimbledon Winner Don’t Get to Keep the Trophy

The winner of the Wimbledon final does not get to go home with the trophy. Instead, they are given a replica that is slightly smaller than the real thing.


The 2024 Wimbledon begins on July 1 and will end on July 14. Will Carlos Alcaraz defend his trophy?

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