Wimbledon is the oldest international tennis event to be held in the world. It is also one of the four Grand slams championships. Started in 1877, the tournament has covered a journey of about 132 years. In the century of its existence, Wimbledon has become more of a tradition than a mere championship. With time, interesting things were been introduced in the event, which have gradually become an inherent part of the tournament. In fact, Wimbledon, after more than 100 years of its existence, stands as a classic tennis tournament with some really interesting traditions. Read on to explore the major traditions of Wimbledon Tournament, in detail.
Wimbledon Tennis Championship Traditions
Wimbledon is the only Grand Slam event which is still played on a natural surface i.e. on a grass court. It is also the oldest event of its own kind. Even after 132 years of its existence, Wimbledon is still played in its natural form, on a natural court.
Reference to the Players
Unlike other championships, the reference to the players in the Wimbledon championship still holds the same charm. Until now, the men's events are known as 'gentlemen's' and women's events are known as 'ladies' events. Earlier, the married women tennis players were called by their husband's name. Now, the concept of 'Miss' - for an unmarried woman player and 'Mrs' - for a married woman player is in vogue. Still, there is no reference to any male player as 'Mr'.
The 'All England Club' accepted the colors of green and purple as the club official colors in 1909 and until 2006, every single official, including umpires, linesmen and ball boys and girls, were dressed in green. After this, the dress code changed for the first time, when the club approached American designer Ralph Lauren for designing all the official outfits in navy blue and cream. However, the rule of all white uniform still exists for the players, since 1877.
The royal family of England has an old connection with 'All England Club'. In the last century, they came up as ardent supporters of Wimbledon Championship many times. Even the famous Princess Diana, before her sudden demise, was often seen as a spectator at Wimbledon matches. The Queen is presently the sponsor of the All England Club and the Duke of Kent is its presiding president. It was earlier a tradition for a player to bow on entering or leaving the court, if he/she encountered any member of the British Royal family. However, this rule was abolished in 2003 and now only the Queen and Prince are honored this way.
Initially, it was a trend that the winners of the gentlemen's events were presented with a lot more prize money than their female counterparts. However, the famous player of current times, Venus Williams of USA led dominant protests against this variance and in 2007; the organizers of the tournament, All England Lawn Tennis, dismissed the earlier practice and started awarding the same prize
Ball Boys & Ball Girls
Ball boys and ball girls form an intrinsic part of any Wimbledon event. They play a crucial role in the tournament, by ensuring its smooth functioning. They are available at all the required places, for ensuring efficient interior management of the tournament.
Strawberry & Creams
The tradition of Strawberry and Creams is also extremely important in Wimbledon. The tradition of serving strawberry began in 1953 and the cream was added to the traditional fare in 1970. Gradually, the two of these became an essential part of the tournament.
Wimbledon Tennis Championship has become an epitome of tennis, with interesting traditions. Explore traditions of Wimbledon Tournament.