Center Court

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Compared to the other Grand Slams — Australian, French and US Open Wimbledon has a unique name and tradition associated with it

Almost all tennis players have a dream of playing on Wimbledon’s Centre Court and winning the trophy there. After all who would not like to play the world’s oldest tennis tournament. This year, the tournament opens on June 27 and ends on July 10, and Novak Djokovic will be eyeing his fourth Wimbledon title in the men’s version of the game. Let’s take a look why it’s an honour to play here.

  • Wimbledon is the oldest tennis tournament in the world and has been played since 1877. It is considered to be the most prestigious of all the four Grand Slams.
  • This is the only tournament that is still played on the sport’s original surface — grass. Earlier, the Australian Open and US Open, which are played on hard court now, and French Open that is played on clay were played on grass. Hence, tennis is called lawn tennis.
  • Players have to strictly wear white at the tournament. As per the rules, there should be no solid mass of colouring, little or no dark or bold colours, no fluorescent colours. Pastels are preferred and other items of clothing, including hats, socks and shoes should be entirely white. Roger Federer who sported orange soles to his shoes during his first round match in 2013 was pulled up by the organisers for flouting the rules.
  • The Centre Court has survived World War II bombing and now boasts of a roof that prevents rain delays from causing scheduling problems during the tournament.
  • This is the only Grand Slam that is frequented by a royal family. The Queen of Britain often visits Wimbledon and meets the players. The royal family sits in the Royal Box and players earlier had to courtesy all members of the family. But the tradition has been discontinued since 2003 by the Duke of Kent who is the President of the All England Club. Now only if the monarch or the Prince of Wales are present, players are expected to courtesy them.
  • The tournament has a ‘day of rest’. The middle Sunday of the Wimbledon fortnight is always a day off.

Words By: Jamie Howlett

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