Wimbledon 2014

Pour the Pimms, stock up on the strawberries, practice that forearm and prepare for two weeks of sporting excellence…

Wimbledon is back!

Aside from the battles for tennis greatness, the age old Wimbledon Championships have been the sporting highlight of the British social calendar for decades. The AELTC or ‘All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club’ (to give it it’s official title)  plays host to the rich, famous and tennis mad for two weeks of sporting frenzy each year. As Wimbledon prepares for the championship here’s our guide to event preparations.

Back The British!

 This year is charged with anticipation as the whole of  Britain awaits the fate of defending champion, the home grown, Andy Murray. After last year’s incredible win against tennis great Novak Djokovic the country rejoiced, finally after 77 years without a  British champion Murray reclaimed the title. The momentous occasion only stands to add pressure to this year’s competition as the world looks on with a scrupulous eye. He is set to open proceedings with his first match against world number 104 Belgium’s David Goffin on Monday afternoon. C’mon Andy!

Get To Know Your Players

With hundreds of men’s and women’s contestants competing in the whole competition the first few days of proceedings might be a blur of  unusual names, but here is the list of the top ten seeds for both sides of the contest.

Gentlemen’s Singles 
DJOKOVIC, Novak (SRB) [1]
NADAL, Rafael (ESP) [2]
MURRAY, Andy (GBR) [3]
FEDERER, Roger (SUI) [4]
WAWRINKA, Stan (SUI) [5]
BERDYCH, Tomas (CZE) [6]
FERRER, David (ESP) [7]
RAONIC, Milos (CAN) [8]
ISNER, John (USA) [9]

Ladies’ Singles 
WILLIAMS, Serena (USA) [1]
LI, Na (CHN) [2]
HALEP, Simona (ROU) [3]
RADWANSKA, Agnieszka (POL) [4]
SHARAPOVA, Maria (RUS) [5]
KVITOVA, Petra (CZE) [6]
JANKOVIC, Jelena (SRB) [7]
AZARENKA, Victoria (BLR) [8]
KERBER, Angelique (GER) [9]
CIBULKOVA, Dominika (SVK) [10]

Embrace the Traditions

For years Wimbledon has been famed for its iconic strawberries and cream dessert, with over 28,000 kg (112,000 punnets) of English strawberries being stocked each year and 7,000 litres of fresh cream poured on top. In the height of the British summer what’s better?  Pimms comes in close second when Wimbledon traditions are considered, the classic liquor and fruit drink makes for a refreshing tipple and the catering staff stock 200,000 bottles of the stuff every year in preparation. These small traditions are easily replicated at home for all of you out there who didn’t manage to secure tickets or don’t fancy facing the hideously long queues on the day. Make them to your own taste, sit back, relax and enjoy the action from the comfort of your own home.

 Brush Up On Your Facts

1) Wimbledon is one of the only contests with a strict dress code for players, a ruling in the 1960s stated that players must wear mostly white to play. In 1995 this was changed to ‘predominantly white’ and whether the attire is suitable or not, well that falls to the referee on the day. 

 2) The iconic lawn courts are a big draw for international players, in comparison to the majority of clay courts Wimbledon stands as a unique playing experience. With that in mind the courts maintenance is a grand operation. The grass itself is cut to a tiny 8 mm for optimum bounce and is a mix of rye and red fescue grass varieties to ensure durability. 

  3) The longest match ever held was between the American John Isner and French Nicolas Mahut in 2010, sets were as followed 6-4, 3-6, 6-7 (7–9), 7-6 (7–3), 70-68 and the boys played for an exhausting 3 days with the last set itself lasting 8 hours and 11 minutes.

4)  Over the two week event the club will host 660 matches across the spectrum of levels and disciplines. 

5) 6,000 members of staff are contracted for the event including 250 ball girls and boys, 350 umpires, 22 dressing room attendants, 46 scoreboard operators and 14 physiotherapists.

Watch the Film 

2004 saw the box office hit of Wimbledon the movie, starring Paul Bettany and Kirtsen Dunst as the Tennis comeback kid and the young prodigy who spark up an unusual romance off the court. The movie was filmed at the AELTC itself and showcases the ins and outs of the grounds. Speckled with Hollywood glamour the film explores the highs and lows of the tennis scene and the pressure to succeed. As well as the classic rom-com story line.

Full fixtures and match line ups are to be released this weekend, with Monday as the start of the 2014 Wimbledon Championships. Until then, have a great weekend and enjoy the preparations!