Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships

The world's most prestigious tennis tournament is back so pour yourself a glass of Pimm's and settle back. Peter Gray reports.

Whether your life revolves around tennis or you couldn’t tell a tennis ball from a meatball, the Wimbledon tennis tournament is a must do event in London.

Wimbledon is so much more than just another sporting event. Its a British institution and for two weeks every year, Wimbledon is the centre of the sporting universe.

What makes Wimbledon so special?  I hear you ask. Well, tradition for one thing. The tournament has been taking place at the All England Club in South West London since 1877, making Wimbledon the oldest tennis tournament in the world.

The atmosphere is pretty special too. Whether you’re sat in a stand on Centre Court or watching the action from a big screen on Murray Mound, there’s always an amazing atmosphere and a friendly, sports mad crowd eagerly watching every point.

Wimbledon is unique in other ways too. Its the only one of the grand slam tennis tournaments still played on grass, for one thing.  The Australian Open shifted to a hardcourt in 1988.

Wimbledon has the strictest dress code of all the major Grand Slam tennis tournaments too. The All England Club stipulates that all entrants wear white. With no exceptions. This means that Wimbledon looks distinct to any other tournament too. By the way, that dress code dates back to the 19th century when tennis matches were routinely part of social occasions and the sight of sweat stains showing through coloured clothing was thought to be a particularly unattractive sight.

Wimbledon’s traditions and dress code have certainly not hurt the event’s popularity however as the tournament regularly attracts around 500,000 spectators with millions more watching on television worldwide. With those kinds of numbers, as you’d imagine, getting tickets for the tournament can be a little bit difficult with a public ballot used to decide who gets to see the action. The ballot is always oversubscribed however, so merely entering the draw does not guarantee success. The All England Club uses a computer to ensure that applicants are selected at random. The public ballot for the 2019 championships will open on the 1st of September 2018.

If you have no joy in the ballot however, fortunately there are other ways to see the tournament with tickets released online in the lead up and during the event and a number of tickets available to buy on the day itself. For more details off the arrangements for buying tickets, please check the website of the All England Club.

Ok, but what of the tennis itself. Well 2019 should be another epic year for the tournament with Novak Djokovic  and Angelique Kerber defending their Men’s and Ladies Single titles.

However, regardless of who triumphs in SW7 this summer, one thing is certain, visitors to the tournament will enjoy a spectacular fortnight and if 2017 was anything to go by, this means a whole load of strawberries & cream and Pimm’s. Figures for 2017 show that 34,000kg of English strawberries and 10,000 litres of cream were consumed by fans of the tournament with 320,000 glasses of Pimm’s to wash it down! Wimbledon certainly knows how to party!

Wimbledon 2022 will run from the 27th of June until the 10th of July 2022. More information about the event can be found here.

For information on other sporting events in London, please click here.


-London's Best Events-
What: tennis
When: 27 Jun - 10 Jul 22
Where: Wimbledon
Website: wimbledon