Wimbledon Through The Years

Wimbledon is the oldest tennis tournament in the world and arguably the most prestigious, and as we’re gearing up for the finals this weekend what better time than to look back at the history and some of the traditions that make this Grand Slam such a favourite amongst the players and the crowds.


We all know that The Wimbledon Tennis Championships have been going on for a fair few years, but did you know that they first started back in 1877, only a couple of years after Major Walter Clopton Wingfield invented the game of tennis? This new game was added to The All England Croquet Club- a private club initially founded in 1866. The addition of the game led to a subsequent change of name for the club- The All England Croquet and Lawn Tennis Club. Back then only men were allowed to play with the first Men’s Singles champion being, unsurprisingly, a Brit called Spencer Gore. The Ladies’ Singles were unfortunately not introduced until 1884.

Although we may have got off to a good start, we Brits have not been very lucky at Wimbledon. Andy Murray was the first British player to win the Men’s Singles in 2013, a mere 77 years after Fred Perry won the same title, whilst Virginia Wade has been the only British winner of the Ladies Singles, winning the coveted trophy back in 1977.

However, Wimbledon is not all just about the players- it’s the long-standing traditions that really set this Grand Slam event apart from the rest.

For a start it is the only Grand Slam event in the world to still be played on grass, and not just any grass might we add. All Wimbledon courts are sown with 100% perennial rye-grass which is always cut to a very precise height of 8mm.

Another tradition that is still upheld to this day is the players’ uniform. That’s right, everyone has to be dressed in all white – although there are always a few players who like to push the boundaries in the name of fashion – and yes, we’re sorry to say it’s mostly the ladies!

Don’t worry, we have not forgotten about what might perhaps be the most famous tradition of all- strawberries and cream! However this is a relatively new tradition- strawberries being introduced first in 1953 with cream being added in 1970. Nowadays spectators consume on average 28,000 kg of strawberries and 7,000 litres of cream so it’s safe to say Wimbledon has become synonymous with strawberries and cream.

Facts and Figures

Here are some quick-fire facts and figures- great for your next pub quiz night.

Balls used: 54,250

Fastest Serve: 148mph- deliverred by Taylor Denton

Teas Served: 350,000

Pimms served: 230,000 glasses

Beer served: 100,000 pints

Champagne Served: 28,000 bottles

There you have it, Wimbledon in a nutshell. Now make sure you’re watching the finals this weekend with some Pimms and a generous serving of strawberries and cream.

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