Wimbledon 2018 is firmly in the rear-view mirror, and it was one for the ages, with strong performances from Serena Williams and Kevin Anderson, and hard-fought victories for Novak Djokovic and Angelique Kerber.
The tennis world has turned its attention towards the upcoming US Open, or for the Hong Kong tennis fans who like things closer to home, the Shenzhen Open.
One of our favourite aspects of any major tournament are the great trivia discussions we have with fellow tennis fans, and Wimbledon was no exception. In anticipation of the 2019 tournament (which is only 11 months away!), here are some great Wimbledon facts to impress your friends.
THE FASTEST SERVE WAS 240 KPH
When we think of great servers, our minds are drawn to stars like Federer, Roddick and Pete Sampras, but the fastest serve recorded at Wimbledon was actually achieved by American Taylor Dent.
In a 2010 match, Dent served a 240 kmph rocket to Novak Djokovic.
[embedyt] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LJpbsdrp76k[/embedyt] Earlier that year, Dent also set a record at Roland Garros – he wasn’t a household name, but Dent was a hard server and no slouch as a player, peaking at 21st in the rankings.
THE LONGEST SPONSORSHIP IN SPORTS HISTORY
Did you know that Wimbledon’s relationship with Slazenger is the longest in sports history? The British sporting company started supplying balls to the championship in 1902 and hasn’t stopped since.
THE YOUNGEST WINNER? JUST 15 YEARS OLD!
In 1887, Charlotte Dod won the championship at just 15 years old, and went on to retain her title for five years in a row, before losing it at the ripe old age of twenty.
Charlotte wasn’t just a tennis star – in addition to her Wimbledon exploits, she won a silver in archery at the 1908 Olympics, won the British Amateur Golf Championship in 1904 and competed with the national field hockey team.
On the men’s side, the youngest winner was German Boris Becker, who was just 17.
Although he was older than Charlotte Dod, the feat may be even more impressive, as he won in 1985, competing against highly paid, well-trained professionals. Becker was also the first unseeded champ ands the first German to win Wimbledon.
WHERE ARE ALL THE PIGEONS?
We love London, but let’s face it – they have a lot of pigeons over there.
It’s hard to go anywhere in England without seeing pigeons on the sidewalk or in the skies…and yet, they are always absent from Wimbledon.
Rufus the hawk.
Rufus circles the skies prior to the morning matches, scaring away pigeons. Outside tournament hours he patrols the grounds and disrupts their nests.
Learn more about Rufus here:
[embedyt] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oUfKvYt6b_s[/embedyt] It seems he’s been on the job for a while and become a bit of a celebrity in England.
THE LONGEST MATCH
If you liked the 6-hour Kevin Anderson/John Isner semi-final match, you’re going to love this one:
Back in 2010, in the first round of the tournament, Isner defeated Frenchman Nicholas Mahut…in a match that lasted 11 hours and 5 minutes and was played over a period of three days.
Like Anderson fell to Djokovic, Isner was soundly defeated in round two, clearly feeling the effects of fatigue after a match that long. Wimbledon has even commemorated the event with a plaque:
Do you have any fun Wimbledon trivia facts to share? Let us know in the comments.
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