Wimbledon History, Trivia & Stats

Apr 5, 2009

The oldest and most prestigious of the world’s tennis tournaments was played for the first time in 1877, at The All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club in Wimbledon, London where it has remained throughout it esteemed history.

The All England was originally formed as a croquet club, only adding the ‘tennis’ in the year that the first tennis championships were held. While croquet is obviously no longer a focus at the club, for sentimental reasons it has remained part of the title…although there was a short lived attempt to have it removed in the early 1880′s.

It didn’t take long for the tournament to garner attention from overseas competitors, with the first foreigner to claim a title being American May Sutton who won the women’s singles in 1905. Norman Brookes of Australia soon after won the men’s title in 1907 and its fate was assured as it went on to become one of the world’s premiere sporting events.

As with the other majors, Wimbledon opened its doors to professional players in 1968 when the Open era began and has remained as the only major to be played on the traditional grass surface.

This has created a stark contrast in particular with the major that proceeds it – The French Open, which is played on clay. These two surfaces can almost be seen as the exact opposite of each other. Grass is very slick with the ball skidding much more and has tradtionally been seen as a serve-volleyers surface. The clay at Rolland Garros is much slower and is more suited to baseliners.

So over the years there have been many instances of players strong on grass being unable to perform on clay and vice versa. Two of the three most successful men in the history of Wimbledon (and of all time) Pete Sampras and Roger Federer, were unable to win at the French Open – although Federer will be hoping to rectify that situation before his career is over.

Trivia & Statistics In The Open Era (1968-present)


Most Victories – Pete Sampras (7)

Most Consectutive Victories – Roger Federer & Bjorn Borg (5)

Youngest Winner – Boris Becker in 1985 aged 17 yrs.

Lowest Ranked Winner – Goran Ivanisivic 2001 (125), the only ever wildcard winner.

Country with Most Victories – U.S (15)


Most Victories – Martina Navratilova (9)

Most Consectutive Victories – Martina Navratilova (6)

Youngest Winner – Lottie Dodd in 1887 aged 15 yrs.

Country with Most Victories – U.S (22)

  • Wimbleon is the only major to alter the seedings at their own discretion by taking into account both rankings and players track record on grass.
  • The two main courts are only used for the two weeks of the tournament every year.
  • 2009 will see the first use of the new retractable roof
  • No British male has won the tournament since 1936.
  • Jean Borota of France won his first Wimbledon title in 1924…and played his last main draw tournament 40 years later.
  • In 1973 around 79 ATP players (including 13 of the top 16 seeds) boycotted the event over the suspension of Yugoslav player Nikki Pilic by his own tennis federation, citing his refusal to represent Yugoslavia in the Davis Cup as their reason.


Written by: Crooksy

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