Wimbledon is once again under way and there are not many sporting events that are so quintessentially British. It is the oldest tennis tournament in the world, the first tournament was held in 1877 as part of the ‘The All England Croquet and Lawn Tennis Club’. The rules have remained pretty much the same since they were originally drawn up except for a few differences such as such as the height of the net and posts and the distance of the service line from the net.
The first and only event that was held in 1877 was the gentleman’s singles, this was won by Spencer Gore who beat a field of 22 competitors to take the title. The crowds were also a bit smaller with around 200 people paying a shilling to watch the final. Although many things have changed looking towards the modern game such as crowd size and money involved one thing that has remained since the start is the idea of centre court.
Even though Britain is a sports mad country that will get behind just about any tournament that is going wimbledon manages to do quite well behind some of the more popular sports like football, which is the most popular. But a recent UK online survey showed that for males Wimbledon making it a clear favourite behind the football competitions, it managed to collect 12% of the participants vote. When looking at the female participants of the survey over 25% would follow the grass court tournament, making it the most popular sports tournament amongst women.
When looking at the players involved in the modern day Wimbledon there is no doubt that they are athletes, they train all the time looking to perfect their game. I doubt that this would have been the case for Spencer Gore who originally played cricket for Surrey before playing tennis. The favourites for the mens title will be the usual suspects of Nadal, Djokovic and Federer. There will, of course, be the British hopes resting on Andy Murray’s shoulders. From the survey Nadal came out as the participants favourite with 23% of the vote.
Looking at the woman’s competition Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova are thought to be the favourites to take home the title with the world’s number one Caroline Wozniacki coming in third place from the results of the survey. As always these are only presumptions on what will happen, part of the beauty of Wimbledon is that you can never tell what is going to happen. This year we have already seen Venus Williams head home after a shock first round defeat to Elena Vesnina of Russia.
Let’s hope that the weather gets a bit better so everyone can enjoy their strawberries and cream in a dignified Wimbledon manner. There is a lot of information out there about Wimbledon but no matter how much you read and try to work out who will be the winner it really comes down to who is playing at the pinnacle of their game on the day. And if you want to give me any tips let me know in the comments section below.