Jul 04, 2018

Wimbledon - Love All!


All four grand slam tournaments bring a unique flavour to the sport that holds its own challenges, all different from one another. However, despite the toughness of the clay in the French Open, the heat of Melbourne during the Australian Open or even the hard court of the US Open, none of them quite match up to the spectacle that is Wimbledon.



History of Wimbledon


Wimbledon started off in 1877 when the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club held the first lawn tennis meeting open to amateurs. A total of 22 men, each paying a fee of one guinea, bought their own rackets and shoes to participate in a tournament with fairly few spectators. The final was witnessed by 200 people, where Spencer Gore became the first champion of Wimbledon. Little did these 200 know that they were watching history in the making.



In the following decade, crowds increased to a few thousand and women were allowed to participate. Maud Watson became the first female champion in 1884 and followed it up with a victory in 1885. The following decade, non-championship ladies’ doubles and even mixed doubles were added.


It took till the 1900s for the first foreign champions to emerge, with the American May Sutton and the Australian Norman Brookes taking titles in 1905 and 1907 respectively. The tournament only continued to grow for decades, until the second world war, when championships were halted for six years. Even after that, there were restrictions due to damage sustained at the stadium.



It was in 1968 that the revolution of Wimbledon truly began. Termed as the start of the ‘Open Era’, this was the year when professional players were allowed to participate, accepting payment in the process. This brought in a lot more attendance, viewership and revenue as the decades went by, with Rod Laver and Billie Jean King being the first Open Era Wimbledon Champions in 1968.



With the coming of colour television in the 1970s, Wimbledon only continued to grow, soon becoming the giant it is today. However, despite witnessing the rise and fall of new international stars every generation, with greats like Rod Laver, Steffi Graf, Roger Federer, Serena Williams, Billie Jean King, Rafael Nadal and several others gracing the court, one thing that has stayed the same has been the tradition. Whether it's the championship presentation ceremony or the white dress code... the more things change, the more they stay the same! 


Players of Interest


Venue:All England Club, Wimbledon          Dates: 2-15 July 2018


With Wimbledon 2018 in full swing, here are the slightly lesser-known players you should watch out for.



Men’s Championship:


Juan Martin del Potro (#4)

The 6'6" Argentinian giant is a US Open Champion and a former Wimbledon semi-finalist. He’s not played a competitive match since his defeat to Rafael Nadal at the French Open Semis. He’s widely expected to be the dark horse of this tournament.


Marin Cilic (#5)

The 5th ranked Cilic has everything to prove, as he was the runner-up both in Wimbledon last year and at the Australian Open this year, losing to Roger Federer on both occasions. Cilic is considered a favourite to win, outside of Federer and Nadal of course.


Nick Kyrgios (#18)

The 23-year old Australian may not have gone past the Quarterfinals of the Wimbledon thus far in his career, but he's not a name to be ignored this time around. 


Stefanos Tsitsipas (#31)

The 19-year old Greek prodigy has skyrocketed into the top 40, and is expected to go far this Wimbledon. Keep an eye out!



Women’s Championship:


Petra Kvitova (#7)

Is there anyone more likeable on this list than Petra Kvitova? She won Wimbledon in 2011 and 2014, and even bounced back from a knife attack in late 2016 in a home robbery! Her left-hand serve and smashes are her trademark.


Madison Keys (#11)

Despite not having the best record at Wimbledon, the hard-hitting 23-year old has momentum on her side, having done well in the US Open (Finals), French Open (Semi-Finals) and Australian Open (Quarter-Finals).


Ashleigh Barty (#17)

The 22-year-old Australian took a short break from Tennis, returning in late 2016. It will be interesting to see how she performs, as many consider her style of play to be ‘meant’ for grass.


Maria Sharapova (#22)

Seemingly mired in controversy over a doping ban, it's been 3 years since the Russian star played on grass. One of the major talking points of the tournament will be how she bounces back.



2018 promises to be perhaps one of the best Wimbledons of the decade. You can expect shocks, upsets, excitement and heartbreak in this beautiful tournament and beautiful game!


Related Articles

Prev post

Next post