10 things unique to Wimbledon
The third Grand Slam of the year, Wimbledon, is the most coveted, followed and revered tournament of a tennis season. And, while other Grand Slams have come upto pace with the grasscourt tournament over the years, there are certain things that are still unique to Wimbledon and have infact become synonymous with it.
The third Grand Slam of the year, Wimbledon, is the most coveted, followed and revered tournament of a tennis season. And, while other Grand Slams over the years have come upto pace with the grasscourt tournament, there are certain things that are still unique to Wimbledon and have infact become synonymous with it.
<b>White Clothing:</b> Even as players continue to experiment with colour and style at other tournaments, Wimbledon has stuck to its all-white dress code. Eight time Grand Slam champion Andre Agassi in fact skipped Wimbledon between 1988-1990 as he refused to conform to the traditional dress code.
<b>Grass Court:</b> It is the only Grand Slam to be played on the traditional surface of Lawn Tennis - grass. In fact in recent times it is one of the very few tournaments in a tennis season that are still played on grass.
<b>Strawberries and cream:</b> It is as synonymous with Wimbledon as white-clothing itself. According to Facilities Management Catering Limited, the catering company that handles all the food and drink operations for Wimbledon, approximately 28,000 kilos of English strawberries will be consumed with 7,000 liters of cream during the 13 days at Wimbledon.
<b>Ladies and Gentlemen:</b> While all other tournaments have men and women's singles and doubles, Wimbledon has a more formal way for adressing this as well. Over here it is Ladies' and Gentlemen's singles or doubles.
<b>Umbrellas:</b> Rain is as much a part of Wimbledon as the adrenaline-pumping on-court action. And, although the rain does put a brake on the game, it allows photgraphers some pretty scenic shots. Also, accompanying the rain always are plenty of umbrellas, many in dark green and purple - the colour of Wimbledon.
<b>Retractable roof:</b> In 2009, Wimbledon got a retractable roof in place at its Centre Court so that play could continue even during showers. Rain in London at this time of the year is always round the corner so it has turned out to be a fantastic investment. It was, however, the Australian Open and not Wimbledon which was the first Grand Slam to have a retractable roof.
<b>Final in 3D:</b> In 2010, the BBC telecast the final live in 3D for the first time ever. Although Wimbledon is already extremely popular, the 3D telecast only added to its viewership. The BBC has broadcast the tournament on television in the UK, since 1937 and has the rights until 2014.
<b>Royalty bow:</b> It was a long followed tradition for players to bow to the members of the Royal Family seated in the Royal Box upon entering or leaving Centre Court. In 2003, however, the President of the All England Club, His Royal Highness the Duke of Kent, decided to discontinue the tradition. It is now upto the players to bow or not but some continue to do so. Briton Andy Murray and his Finnish opponent Jarkko Nieminen took the customary bow in 2010 as Her Majesty the Queen attended the Wimbledon for the first time since 1977.
<b>Tickets:</b> Wimbledon is the only Grand Slam tournament where fans without tickets for a match can queue up and still get seats on Centre Court, Court 1 and Court 2. There are about about 500 seats allotted for each court. Fans normally have to queue overnight at Wimbledon to get into show courts. However, that is hardly a dampener and is considered part of the Wimbledon experience in itself.
<b>Exclusivity of the Centre Court: </b>The Centre Court at the Wimbledon is normally used only for two weeks in a year. It has a premier box that the Royal Family uses, as well as other distinguished guests. A retractable roof was installed here in 2009.