Wimbledon is world-famous
When it comes to tennis matches, Wimbledon is the oldest tennis event in the world and is considered by most players and spectators to be the most prestigious. The first Wimbledon championship took place in 1877. Today it is held in the first three weeks in July, every year, at the All England Lawn Tennis Club and draws crowds from all around the world. Wimbledon 2019 is also the only Grand Slam event on the annual tennis calendar that is played on grass.
The grass is tended to all year round and is cut to exactly 8mm before the event! Unlike many other tennis championships, Wimbledon has a strict dress code – the players must be dressed almost entirely in white and umpires can ask players to change if they don’t meet the dress code.
Wimbledon 2019 Changes
A new roof is in place at Wimbledon’s No1 court and it was recently launched in a star-studded ceremony, featuring players like Venus Williams, Pat Cash and Jamie Murray. The roof was built on a budget of 70 million pounds and took three years to complete. It is fully retractable, so if it starts to rain, tennis matches can go on uninterrupted.
The prize money has also increased by 11.8 percent, reaching $70 million. The winner of the men’s and women’s singles events will each receive $4.34 million, which is an increase of $185 000.
Changes to the game itself have also been made. This year’s championships will see all fifth sets decided by a tiebreak when the scores reach 12-all. This change has been introduced after last year’s incredible semi-final between South African Kevin Anderson and John Isner, which was won 24-26 by Anderson.
The 2019 Championships are also rumoured to be the final that Andrew Murray will take part in. Former World No. 1, Andy Murray hasn’t played a match since January after he lost to Roberto Bautista Agut in the first round of the Australian Open. He has had a resurfacing operation on his right hip and is confident he will be able to feature in the doubles at Wimbledon, but feels he needs more time before making a return to the singles game.
South Africans at Wimbledon
South Africans who have made their names at Wimbledon include:
Chanelle reached the doubles semi-finals along with Japanese player, Shuko Aoyama in 2013