The Wimbledon Tennis Championships is where professional tennis players get together and play tournament matches delivering intense tricks, dips, dives, and blows on worldwide television broadcast to millions of people. Held at the All England Lawn Tennis Club in South West London, this event is the oldest of the 4 Grand Slam Match games. The other 3 are the U.S. Open, Australian Open, and French Open, all played on hard clay courts, but the Wimbledon tournaments happen on grass fields. Known as “The Tournament of Dreams”, this year celebrates the Wimbledon 130th anniversary!
The Wimbledon Championships began in 1877 for Men’s Singles with only a few hundred spectators watching, then as the game developed through the years, they started accepting Women’s Singles, Men’s Doubles, Women’s Doubles, and Mixed Doubles. By 1905, the Wimbledon became an international sensation with people travelling overseas to see other international players in these highly competitive games. There were only 4 British players who won The Championships with the last one being Fred Perry in 1936. The Centre Court, where the main event is held, is a 15,000-seat stadium damaged during World War II, but eventually repaired with a large retractable roof in 2009 so weather conditions won’t cause any cancellations. Some old-school strict-rules still exist, such as players wearing all-white kits-usually Polo Ralph Lauren-during the game.
Some anticipated players for this year’s tournaments are Serena Williams (United States), Novak Djokovic (Serbia), Roger Federer (Switzerland), Andy Murray (Scotland), Victoria Azarenka (Belarus), Milos Raonic (Canada), Agnieszka Radwanska (Poland), Stan Wawrinka (Switzerland), Nick Kyrgios (Australia), Kei Nishikori (Japan), Belinda Bencic (Switzerland), Sabine Lisicki (Germany), and Garbine Muguruza (Spain). Unfortunately, Rafael Nadal (Spain) withdrew from the event because of a left wrist injury.
When and Where
Qualifying competitions start on Monday, June 20th to Thursday, June 23 at the Bank of England Sports Ground, but the main event is held from Monday June 27th to Sunday July 10th 2016. The matches will broadcast live on BBC with an anticipated 500 million viewers worldwide, and 32,000+ attendees at the stadium and on the ground watching from the courts. There is a Wimbledon App for Android and Apple users to stream the event live, and people who couldn’t get their hands on a ticket could still watch it on big screens all throughout London. Most places are free-of-charge, including All Bar One near Wimbledon Station, Hyundai FanDome in King’s Cross, Red Market, Pop Fields in Brixton, Great British Summer in West End, London Bridge City Festival, Regent’s Place, San Lorenzo Italian Restaurant in Knightsbridge, and the San Lorenzo Fuoriporta. Near the Wimbledon is Murray Mount, Aorangi Terrace on Henman Hill (need ground pass), and The Woodman Pub. Some other areas of interest to check out in Wimbledon are Kew (Royal Botanical) Gardens, Osterle Park and House, and the House and Horden.
Tickets and full packages are available at the Wimbledon website, Ticketmaster, and overnight ‘queuing’-long line at Gate 3 turnstile accepting cash payments on June 26th. Other websites such as Stubhub and Viagogo will have tickets when the event sells out. Keith Prowse and Sports World have hospitality group packages offering hotel stays, fancy luxury meals, ticket reservations and more. The longer you wait the less likely tickets are available because they sell out quick as the prices increase.
Near the courts is the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Museum that covers the history of this tournament with exhibits and collections featuring interviews, matches, winners, and memorabilia from 1555 to present. There are over 20,000 vintage trophies, posters, articles of clothing, prizes, tickets, medals, autographed tennis balls, tennis rackets, and artwork related to the game. There’s even a talking hologram of John McEnroe about his past matches.
Earl’s Court and Waterloo tube stations have trains going to the Wimbledon Station and District Line Southfields Station. There's also a €3 shuttle bus running every 15-20 minutes from the Southfields and Wimbledon stations to the event, along with taxi cabs. There's also a tram from East Croydon Station to the Wimbledon.