While I don’t follow tennis closely, Wimbledon as an institution of British culture does fascinate me, and I would be remiss, as an Anglophile, if I didn’t understand the competition. So, dear Anglophiles, here’s the lowdown….
When you hear the name “Wimbledon,” it refers to the name of the renowned, annual tennis tournament held at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club (or just “All England Club”) in Wimbledon, an area in southwest London. The competition’s official name is “The Championships, Wimbledon,” but it’s frequently shortened to “the Championships” or “Wimbledon.”)
The tournament is one of four that constitutes tennis’ Grand Slam tournament—the other’s being the Australian Open, the French Open, and the U.S. Open. Wimbledon is the only Grand Slam tennis tournament still played on a grass surface, so games there are particularly exciting to watch as players, accustomed to clay surfaces, adjust to grass.
The two-week Wimbledon tournament consists of 128 players and three categories of events. There are five main events (Gentlemen’s Singles and Doubles, Ladies’ Singles and Doubles, and Mixed Doubles), four junior events (Boys’ Singles and Doubles and Girls’ Singles and Doubles), and three invitational events (Gentlemen’s, Senior Gentlemen’s, and Ladies’ Invitation Doubles and Gentlemen’s and Ladies’ Wheelchair Doubles). The most prestigious events to win, of course, are the Ladies’ Singles Final and the Gentlemen’s Singles Final.
The All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club is a private, members club, with approximately 375 full-time members and 100 temporary members and many courts that are used year round, but it hosts Wimbledon—and this year will also provide the venue for the Tennis competitions at the Summer Olympics Games. Needless to say, gaining membership into the highly exclusive All England Club is no easy feat. It helps if you’ve won the Gentlemen’s or Ladies’ Singles Final in the Wimbledon tournament! (So lots of luck with that.) And lots of luck in scoring a ticket to Wimbledon. All England Club members, of course, get the best seats. The rest of the seats, which are open to the public and greatly sought after, are obtained by a randomized computer selection. If you happen to garner a seat, I would suggest buying a Lottery ticket as well, for you are on a lucky roll!
For the latest Wimbledon news, click HERE
For live video and radio streaming from Wimbledon, click HERE
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