Monday, June 29, 2009

What is Wimbledon?

Updated on : Monday, June 29, 2009

Written by S.E. Smith Copyright © 2003 - 2009 Conjecture Corporation

The Championships, Wimbledon is a prestigious tennis event which makes up one of the four Grand Slam tennis tournaments. Since “the Championships, Wimbledon” is a bit of a mouthful, most people refer to this prestigious tennis competition simply as “Wimbledon.” This event attracts premier tennis players from all over the world, and it is attended with global media coverage. Tennis fans also travel from numerous locations across the globe to see Wimbledon in person, while fans at home keep track of events on the television and through radio broadcasts.

Wimbledon has been hosted by the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club since 1877, making it the oldest continuously running tennis tournament. The event is hosted on the All England Club's courts in Wimbledon, a district of Southern London, and it is the only Grand Slam event hosted on natural grass. Traditionally, the tournament takes 13 days, starting on the Monday in June which falls between the 20th and the 26th, with players taking the middle Sunday of the tournament off.

128 individuals compete in gentleman's and ladies' singles, with 64 pairs participating in gentleman's and ladies' doubles, and an additional 48 couples competing in mixed doubles. Winners of the gentleman's singles receive an ornate gilt cup, while women receive the Rosewater Dish, a massive silver platter. Winners in other events are given silver cups, with runners up entitled to silver plates. The singles tournaments are typically the most interesting for viewers and the media, featuring the current stars of the tennis world playing in a round robin tournament, in which each participant has a chance to go up against every other contestant. As you might imagine, the Wimbledon schedule is quite grueling for the athletes.

Spectators can purchase tickets for Wimbledon, and they also line up at the gates for a chance at the limited open seating. Attendees of Wimbledon are typically encouraged to wear reasonably formal attire out of respect for the event, while the athletes are expected to wear tennis whites, with no more than five percent of their garments in a contrasting color. Supporting staff such as ball boys and girls and referees also have a dress code.

In addition to Wimbledon, the United States Open, Australian Open, and French Open are also considered Grand Slam tournaments. Athletes who manage to take the titles in all four Grand Slam events are considered to be the finest in the world; the Grand Slam is like the Triple Crown of the tennis world.

Courtesy by wiseGEEK

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