So what do you know about the famous tennis tournament, apart from its location? Here are 5 unfamiliar facts:
– While these days the royals tend to keep to the side of the court, in 1926 the future King of England, King George VI partook in the Men’s Doubles. Despite his heritage, he and his partner were knocked out in the first round.
– The woman’s singles are well named for more than a description of the game; it’s been almost 35 years since a married woman, Chris Evert-Lloyd, won the trophy.
– Another famous hallmark of London, pigeons, are kept at bay during the championships by a Harris Hawk called Rufus.
– The All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club is so called because croquet was its original draw. While now a croquet lawn is kept as a nod to tradition, it was the first game to be played at the club, and the most popular until tennis was introduced in 1875.
– Finally: the first Wimbledon singles champion, Spencer Gore in 1877, proclaimed then that “lawn tennis will never rank among our great games.”