Wimbledon" is the oldest and most prestigious
event in the sport of tennis. Wimbledon, held
in June/July, is the third Grand Slam in tennis tournament played each year,
preceded by the Australian Open and French Open, and followed by the U.S.
The tournament (which is the only one of the Grand Slams to be played
on grass courts) lasts for a fortnight, subject to extensions for rain. Separate
tournaments are simultaneously held for:
- Gentlemen's Singles
- Ladies' Singles
- Gentlemen's Doubles
- Ladies' Doubles
- Mixed Doubles
Youth tournaments - Boys' Singles, Girls' Singles, Boys' Doubles and Girls'
Doubles - are also held. Additionally, special invitational tournaments are
held for retired players - 35 and over Gentlemen's Doubles, 45 and over Gentlemen's
Doubles, and 35 and over Ladies' Doubles.
tournament was first played under the control of the [[All England Lawn Tennis
and Croquet Club]] in [] at a ground near Worple Road; the only event
held was Gentlemen's Singles. In [], the All England Club added Ladies'
Singles and Gentlemen's Doubles. Ladies' Doubles and Mixed Doubles were added
in []. The Championships moved to their present location, at a ground
near Church Road, in []. The British are very proud of the Championships
but it is a source of national anguish and humour—no British man
has won the singles event at Wimbledon since [[Fred Perry]] in [],
and no British woman since [[Virginia Wade]] in [].
main court is called ''Centre Court'', and it is here that the finals of
the tournament are always played. Due to the unpredictable nature of the
British weather during the Championships, a retractable [[roof]] has been
proposed for the court. It is expected to be completed in 2009. The No. 1
Court was the subject of an extensive redevelopment in [] - it was
originally adjacent to Centre Court, but was replaced by a new dedicated
[[arena]] with a larger capacity for spectators. The original No. 1 Court
was said to have a unique atmosphere, and was a favourite of many players,
so its replacement was mourned by many. No. 1 Court also plays host to some
of the more important matches at the Championships, such as the quarter-finals
of the singles competitions. No. 2 Court bears the nickname ''The Graveyard
of Champions'' since it has a reputation for playing host to seeded players
being knocked out in upsets.
and purple are the traditional Wimbledon colours. Female players are always
referred to as "Miss" or "Mrs" during play (for example,
when the Chair Umpire states the scores). Male players, however, are referred
to by last name only.
The tournament begins each year six weeks before the first Monday in August,
and lasts for a fortnight. Traditionally, there is no play on the "Middle
Sunday." Thrice in Championship history (most recently in []),
rain has forced play on the Middle Sunday. During the first week, the early
rounds are played, while during the second week, the "Round of Sixteen,"
the Quarterfinals, the Semifinals and Finals are held.
The Gentlemen's Singles Champion receives a silver gilt trophy of a height
of over eighteen inches. The Ladies' Singles Trophy is a silver salver, almost
nineteen inches in diameter, commonly called the "Rosewater Dish"
or the "Venus Rosewater Dish." Trophies are also presented in the
other events. Prize money figures for 2004 (with the amount shown for doubles
being divided equally among the partners) were:
*Ladies' Singles: £560,500
*Gentlemen's Doubles: £215,000
*Ladies' Doubles: £200,000
*Mixed Doubles: £90,000
Wimbledon and the French Open both have higher prize money for male champions
than for female ones; the US Open and Australian Open pay equal amounts.