Here's some interesting facts about the one and only Wimbledon Championship to get you in the mood for the opening today. Who do you reckon will win this year?
- The first Wimbledon took place in 1877 solely as an amateur competition. Men's singles was the only event that took place. There were 22 competitors and the championship was won by Spencer Gore. A few hundred spectators were in attendance.
- Women's singles and men's doubles events began seven years later, in 1884.
- During World War II, a bomb ripped through Centre Court at the All England Club and 1,200 seats were lost. Fortunately, they weren't filled at the time. Play finally resumed in 1946 but it wasn't until 1949 that the area was back in top shape.
- A wooden racket was last used at Wimbledon in 1987.
- There are currently 20 grass courts available for play at the Wimbledon complex. The Number 1 Court now comes complete with large fans at either end to dry out the court in case of rain. There are also five red shale courts, four clay courts, and five indoor courts for club members.
- The All England Club will award a total of £25m in prize money to competitors at The Championships, 2014. The Gentlemen's and Ladies' Singles Champions will each receive £1.76m.
- Aside from cash, the women's champ also receives a silver gilt salver (a round, disk-like platter) that was made in 1864. The men's winner receives a silver gilt cup from 1887. Both are actually displayed at the Wimbledon museum for most of the year.
SINGLES Andy Murray/Marion Bartoli
DOUBLES Bob Brian & Mike Brian/Hsieh Su-wei & China Peng Shuai/Daniel Nestor & Kristina Mladenovic
- The records for fastest serve are Taylor Dent, clocked at 148 mph (2010) and Venus Williams with 129 mph (2008)
- BBC is the host broadcaster. Global cumulative audience estimated at 378.8m people in 198 territories
- 38,500 spectators are allowed in the grounds at any one time
- The longest game was between John Isner (USA) and Nicolas Mahut (FRA) in 2010 which was 11 hours 05 minutes duration and played over 3 days. 123 balls were played and Mahut won 502, Isner 478
Now all we need is some good weather and lots of exciting games!