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The Wimbledon Tennis Championships

The third and possibly the most prestigious tennis major of the year is Wimbledon. The Wimbledon Championships is the oldest tennis tournament in the world and probably the biggest. The event is well known for its etiquette and tradition and remains the only grass court Grand Slam in the tennis calendar.

The tournament takes place over two weeks that culminate in a finals weekend with the men’s and women’s final taking place on the Saturday and Sunday respectively. The event itself draws massive global audiences and also massive crowds that gather both inside and outside of the venue. Wimbledon is perhaps best known for its traditional and relatively strict dress code and its apparent lack of commercial advertising and backing.

The venue at Wimbledon has undergone massive changes and improvements over the past few decades with the ultimate aim of improving the fortnight for players, staff and spectators alike. In 2009 a retractable roof was put onto Centre Court that helped ensure that rain did not stop play. The main show courts have also seen massive improvements and capacity increases to ensure that there is the best opportunity for spectators to enjoy the games over the fortnight. Centre court now has a capacity of 15,000 and Court 1 an impressive 11,000. The type of grass has also seen innovative improvements to ensure increased durability and strength.

A famous landmark at Wimbledon and the scene of some great moments of spectator joy is the Aorangi Terrace. The terrace has been called many things over the years such as ‘Henman Hill,’ ‘Rusedski Ridge’ and more recently ‘Murray Mound.’ This is an area where the big TV screen is a focus point and allows thousands of people not fortunate enough to have got a ticket to really get involved with the passion and atmosphere of this great tournament.

Prize money was first awarded to the Wimbledon Tennis tournament winner in 1968. In the modern day the winner of the mens tournament receives a cheque for £1.15 million and 2000 ranking points but the prestige of winning this tournament would far outweigh the financial incentive.

Roger Federer is the current Wimbledon Champion in 2012 and is no stranger to success at the famous venue having won a record equaling 7 Wimbledon Grand Slam titles between 2003 and 2012. This is a record shared by Pete Sampras who showed a similar level of dominance in the 1990’s by winning 7 titles between 1993 and 2000 with 1996 being the only year during this time that he did not win the trophy. Martina Navratilova took hold of the tournament in the late 70’s and 80’s and holds the record for most ladies’ singles titles win an impressive haul of 9, including a breathtaking run of 6 consecutive wins from 1982 to 1987.

Wimbledon tennis continues to capture the attention of the global tennis audience and particularly the partisan home crown who still maintains the dream that one day soon the winner will be British. It’s a tournament that is proud to retain and maintain its traditions and will continue to strive as the venue and expectations continue to grow with it.

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