Every year, Wimbledon, a quiet suburb of London, turns into the world capital of tennis. For two weeks, the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club (AELTC) holds the Wimbledon Championships on its courts. It is arguably the most prestigious competition of all the four Grand Slam tournaments.
Wimbledon is the only major tennis championship in the world where the matches are held on grass. Even though the ball generally stays in play much longer on clay courts (like at the French Open), tennis games on grass require different set of skills and faster reactions from the players.
The grass at the Central and the First courts is grown on a special farm in Yorkshire and transported to Wimbledon in rolls. The process and technology involved in the preparation and storage of this valuable grass is a well-guarded secret to this day.
One more peculiarity of this 120-year-old championship is that white uniforms are mandatory for all participants. Any player — even a top seed or defending champion — who disregards this tradition runs the risk of being disqualified.
The traditional treat at Wimbledon is strawberries served with cream. The AELTC catering staff estimates that guests consume 6615 servings of this delicacy every day of the two-week tournament, amounting to 28,000 kg (nearly 62,000 pounds) of strawberries and 7,000 liters (7400 U.S. quarts) of cream. Strawberries are specially grown not far from London, and not 24 hours pass between their harvest and their consumption.
Even if you’re not a fan of tennis, or never got into it, take a look at our “Tennis” lightbox. No doubt, you’ll still love our topical photos and illustrations. Maybe we’ll even inspire you to pick up a tennis racquet and step onto a court. Not at Wimbledon, of course. But then again, who knows?