It’s the most quintessential of British sporting events; basking in sunshine, strawberries in cream, smart whites, singsongs in the summer showers. Wimbledon is here for two weeks and as 40,000 fans flock to SW1 each day we thought we’d share some of Clarendon’s favourite Wimbledon facts.
1. Everyone watches it. Ten million of us watched Novak Djokovic beat Roger Federer last year.
2. Wimbledon has a novel way to scare off local pigeons. Rufus, a Harris Hawk visits the club weekly and flies before 9am every morning of the championship to ensure pigeons don’t roost in the rafters.
3. In WWII five bombs were dropped on Centre Court destroying over 1000 seats. It would be nearly a decade before it was repaired.
4. At Wimbledon 350,000 cups of tea are drunk across the two weeks, 230,000 glasses of Pimms, 28,000 bottles of champagne along with 142,000 portions of English strawberries.
5. There are 250 of the amazing ball boys and girls. They earn around £150 for the two weeks, with the occasional bouquet of flowers if they’re hit by a ball!
6. Tennis players look so smart because they can be disqualified if they don’t pass muster. The umpire is the one who decides if a player is wearing the appropriate attire.
7. You might have difficulty seeing the yellow balls whizzing by all the time but imagine if they were white. They were, until 1986. No one could see them so they switched. 40,000 balls will be used throughout the championship
8. The last wooden racket was used in 1987.
9. The total prize money is a staggering £9.3m. In 2015, for the first time, the Women’s Singles Champion will earn almost the same as the Men’s Singles Champion, £535,000 to £575,000. They received almost £100k less before.
10. The exact height of Wimbledon turf is eight milometres.