In Newshistory

If you’re not into the football but you love your summer sports, no doubt you’re invested in this year’s Wimbledon. To help you really get into the spirit, here are some little known facts about the competition – just make sure to have some strawberries and pimms on hand to truly immerse yourself into the Wimbledon atmosphere.

Balls, please

Did you know that around 54,000 tennis balls are used during the course of the tournament? Each one is inspected and replaced during the games to keep them in tip top condition and they are even refrigerated to keep them clean between games! The balls are even sold after the game, so you can hold a bit of history for yourself!

The game begins with Rufus

One of the tournament’s lesser known stars is Rufus – the hawk. He is let lose every morning during the tournament to keep the pigeons away. Don’t worry, he doesn’t harm them, he’s like the bouncer of the tennis court, they won’t go near while he’s around! Did you know someone stole him once? He was returned safe and sound and even has a Twitter account so you can keep up to date with everything he has going on!

As historic as the area

The championships have been taking place since 1877 – making the competition just as much as the heritage of the region as Wimbledon itself! It actually is the oldest tennis tournament in the world! To start with, the tournament was advertised as a ‘lawn tennis meeting’ that was open to amateurs.

You have to have the right outfit

Those competing at Wimbledon have to wear a very specific outfit to be able to play. The tradition of tennis whites dates back to the 1800s and was brought in to stop unsightly sweat patches. Originally only women had to wear white, but not it is a rule for everyone, apparently in 2013’s competition, Roger Federer had to change his shoes because they had orange soles!

Being a Ball boy is serious business

The Ball Boys and Ball Girls at Wimbledon are all selected from nearby schools and have to undergo rigorous training to make sure they’re right for the job. They are tested to see how long they can stand completely still and have to attend weekly training sessions before the event.

So are the games…

When it comes to tennis, there is no way of knowing how long the matches will go on for. For example, in 2010, a match between John Isner and Nicholas Mahut lasted 11 hours and five minutes and had to be played over 3 days!

Wimbledon will run until 11th July.




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