9 Things You Might Not Have Known About Wimbledon
The 2015 Wimbledon Championships started yesterday, which means that even if you don’t care about tennis you’re going to be hearing about it a lot for the next couple of weeks. Instead of fighting it, though, why not try to figure out what all the fuss is about?
To that end, today we present you a list of nine things you might not have known about Wimbledon.
Of course, this doesn’t apply if you’re some kind of Wimbledon expert. But of course, if you’re some kind of Wimbledon expert, you could always read the list anyway and then berate us for being idiots if we got something wrong. That’s always fun!
In any case, let’s get started, shall we?
Okay, you probably knew Wimbledon was played on grass. But did you know that, of all the major championship tournaments in the sport of tennis, Wimbledon is the only one left that's still played on real grass. The US Open and the Australian Open were once played on grass, but as with so many other tournaments, they are no longer.
It's Still On Grass
Wimbledon is known for its strict dress code even today—cleavage is definitely not cool, nor is anything that isn't white (chromatically, I mean). But it used to be even more stringent, with full-length dresses for the women and long pants for the men. How very British.
The Dress Code Used To Be Stricter
At a height of just 4 feet 9 inches, C.G. Hoahing was probably the shortest person to do a lot of the things she did over the course of her life. But it's a matter of record that she's the shortest person to play tennis at Wimbledon. (She's the one on the left up above in case you're powers of deduction aren't so sharp.)
C.G. Hoahing Is The Tournament's Shortest Player
Even as extremely old sporting events go, the Wimbledon tournament is pretty long in the tooth. Its origins stretch all the way back to 1877, when only 200 people showed up to watch it go down. (In fairness, everyone else in London probably had tuberculosis.)
Wimbledon Started In 1877
In its nearly 140 years of history, the Wimbledon Championships have only been halted two times. The first time was for World War I between 1915 and 1918. The second was for World War II between 1940 and 1945. Of course, tennis fans probably could have used a little distraction from the war. But you know tennis players—they can't serve if somebody in the stands is whispering. There was no way they were going to play with air raid sirens going off.
It Takes A World War To Halt Wimbledon
Willie Renshaw is the one player in Wimbledon history to win six championships in a row, between the years 1881 and 1886. He's also one of three players in the tournament's history (the others being the much more recent Pete Sampras and Roger Federer) to hold the record number of seven victories.
The Record For Most Consecutive Wins Stretches Back To 1881
Everybody in the United States of America can feel proud that the very first player to beat Wimbledon's home-field advantage was May Sutton back in 1905. Norman Brooks was the first men's champion from outside the UK, taking his championship back to Australia two years later.
The First Foreign Winner Was May Sutton In 1905
The Isner-Mahut match at the Wimbledon tournament back in 2010 holds the record for the longest tennis match in history. It lasted an incredible 11 hours and five minutes over the course of three days. That's almost as long as a sex session with Sting!
The Longest Match In Tennis History Was Played There
The Wimbledon tournament requires more than 200 ball boys and girls, each of which are required to go through a strict training regimen beginning four months before the tournament. Of course, even the most strict training regimen goes to crap when an attractive female player wears a low-cut top. Come to think of it, maybe that's why Wimbledon doesn't allow low-cut tops?