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Wimbledon is the oldest tennis tournament in the world. Held annually in London, it is one of the four Grand Slam tournaments and the only one played on grass courts. A sensation among lovers of the sport and a dream for the world’s best tennis players, the tournament in England deserves your attention. So check out our guide with everything about Wimbledon.  

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What is Wimbledon?

Wimbledon, officially known as The Championships, is a tennis tournament held annually at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club in London. It is one of the four Grand Slam tournaments, alongside the Australian Open, Roland Garros and the US Open.

Wimbledon is also famous for its traditions, including the compulsory wearing of white clothes by athletes.

History of Wimbledon

The Grand Slam took place for the first time in 1877, with just one men’s singles event and 22 players. However, it grew rapidly, adding women’s singles events in 1884, men’s doubles in the same year and, later, women’s doubles and mixed doubles. 

Over the years, it has become synonymous with prestige and tradition, attracting the best players in the world, as well as a loyal, global audience.

It was created when the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club organized the first competition in the history of tennis;

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And if you want to know everything about Wimbledon, stay tuned, because this is the only event of the fourGrand Slams that isn’t organized by a national federation.

By the way, the tournament is named after the London neighborhood where it has been held since its first edition.

How does Wimbledon work?

Wimbledon takes place over two weeks, and the tournament consists of men’s singles, women’s singles, men’s doubles, women’s doubles, mixed doubles, as well as several junior events.

The Grand Slam is also divided into several stages:

  1. Qualifiers: Before the main tournament, players compete in the qualifiers to secure a place on the main roster. In 2024, this stage begins on June 24;
  2. Main Event: At this stage, the athletes who qualified through the qualifiers and those who went straight through to the main event will face each other. The main tournament includes men’s and women’s singles, men’s and women’s doubles and mixed doubles events.
  3. Game Format:
    • Men’s Singles: Best of five sets.
    • Women’s Singles: Best of three sets.
  4. Stages: There are four knockout rounds, followed by quarterfinals, semifinals and finals. Remember that all matches, from the first round onwards, are knockout games;

Structure of matches at Wimbledon

Continuing with our guide to all things Wimbledon, it’s important to note that the structure of the matches varies between the men’s singles, women’s singles and doubles events:

  • Men’s Singles: Best of five sets. The first player to win three sets wins the match.
  • Women’s Singles and Doubles: Best of three sets. The first player or pair to win two sets wins the match.

A set is made up of a series of games. To win a set, a player generally has to win at least six games, with a difference of at least two games over their opponent;

If the set reaches a score of 6-6, a tiebreak is played to decide the winner of the set;

In the tiebreak, the first player to reach seven points, with a two-point lead, wins the set.

Remembering: how to play a game in tennis?

Don’t remember how computing works? Then let’s remember: a game in tennis is made up of a series of points. The score in a game is counted as follows:

  • 1 point: “15”
  • 2 points: “30”
  • 3 points: “40”
  • 4 points: “Game” (as long as the two-point advantage is reached)

Wimbledon rules

As we’ve seen so far, Wimbledon’s rules follow the standard tennis regulations, with a few peculiarities:

  1. White Uniform: it’s impossible to create a guide to all things Wimbledon and not talk about the outfit! After all, this is probably the most different rule of the British Grand Slam. Here, all players are obliged to wear all-white clothing, a tradition that is strictly enforced. Chair umpires, on the other hand, must wear a striped shirt with a white collar, as well as beige pants for men and a long skirt for women. The jacket must be dark. The flagmen must wear the English cap.
  2. Grass Surface: Wimbledon is the only Grand Slam played on grass courts, which influences the speed and style of the game.

Flexible dress code for female athletes

Since 2022, the rule on white uniforms for Wimbledon tennis players has been changed to make it more flexible for women athletes to wear them, with a view to greater comfort, especially during the menstrual period.

Currently, women’s tennis players are allowed to wear shorts of a different color over their white shorts;

General tennis rules

As you might expect, matches at Wimbledon follow the same rules as tennis in other international competitions, especially when it comes to fouls, games and sets.

For example, during the match, the players take turns serving, switching sides every game.

In addition, at the start of each game, the server stands behind the baseline and must serve the ball into the diagonally opposite service area;

The server has two attempts to hit a valid serve. If on the first attempt the ball does not land in the service area, a fault is called and the server is given another chance. However, two consecutive faults result in a double fault, resulting in the loss of a point.

If you still haven’t mastered all the rules of the sport, we recommend you access our complete and uncomplicated manual on the subject: Rules of tennis: scoring, tie-breaks, challenges and more.

In addition, at Wimbledon, players are expected to comply with the rules regarding conduct on the court, avoiding outbursts, hitting the racket and unsportsmanlike behavior.

Help from technology

Wimbledon incorporates Hawk-Eye technology to assist in line call decisions;

Players have the right to contest a line call by requesting a review;

Each player can complete three challenges per set, plus an additional challenge in the tie-break;

If the challenge is successful and the original decision is overturned, the player keeps the same number of challenges. However, an unsuccessful challenge results in the loss of a challenge.

Curiosities about Wimbledon

Who are the greatest Wimbledon champions?

On the list of Wimbledon’s greatest champions are the icons:

  1. Martina Navratilova: 9 women’s singles titles.
  2. Roger Federer: 8 títulos de simples masculino.
  3. Pete Sampras: 7 títulos de simples masculino.
  4. Novak Djokovic: 7 títulos na era aberta
  5. Steffi Graf: 7 títulos de simples feminino.
  6. Serena Williams: 7 títulos na era aberta
  7. Venus Williams: 5 títulos na era aberta
  8. Bjorn Borg: 5 títulos na era aberta

It’s worth remembering that among the greatest champions of Roland Garros, a clay-court tournament played in Paris, Rafael Nadal ranks first among the greatest winners, with 14 victories. This shows how much each type of court affects the type of game and the success of each athlete;

Also read: How to Bet on Tennis at Betano: step by step and strategies

What is the prize money at Wimbledon?

The prize fund at Wimbledon is one of the most generous on the circuit. In 2023, the total prize pool was approximately £44.7 million (around R$271 million). The men’s and women’s singles champions each received around £2.35 million (around R$14 million) for their titles.

Victory also earns 2,000 ranking points, but the amounts can vary from year to year, depending on various economic factors.

When will Wimbledon be in 2024?

Wimbledon 2024 will be held from July 1 to 14. The tournament follows its traditional schedule of starting in the last week of June and running until the beginning of July, guaranteeing two weeks of top quality tennis.

Now that you know all about Wimbledon, get ready to follow another exciting edition of this legendary event, where new chapters will be written on the hallowed grass courts of the All England Club.

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