Our intern Lauri Poutanen from Finland writes about the Wimbledon tennis tournament.
The Wimbledon Tennis Championships are under way again for the 125th time. Since the first tournament in 1877, Wimbledon has become a place of pilgrimage to tennis fans around the world. Its leading role as one of the four prestigious Grand Slam tournaments – the other ones being the Australian, French and US Opens – is still present. Despite stupendous modernization, a strong set of customs remain.
Wimbledon is known of its strict dress etiquette. Wearing all white has been a requirement for all the participators in the tournament for decades. ‘Wimbledon white’ has in fact become so popular that the term is commonly used to refer to a certain shade of white used particularly in car paints.
Billie Jean King (born Moffitt) demonstrating her long reach in the Wimbledon final in 1966. King defeated her opponent, Brazilian Maria Bueno, in three sets 6-3, 3-6, 6-1. She won the Wimbledon singles six times between 1966-1975 and 12 Grand Slams in total. She was remarkably successful in doubles as well.
The British Royal Family is a protector of the Wimbledon tournament. Until 2003 the players were to bow to the Royal Box before the matches. Now it is only required if Her Majesty the Queen or the Prince of Wales is present. The international atmosphere quickly drew the attention of members of other Royal Families, such as Wilhelm of Prussia, the last Crown Prince of Germany, who visited Wimbledon with his spouse the Duchess Cecilie of Mecklenburg-Schwerin.
The Wimbledon trophy has traditionally been awarded to winners in men’s singles and the Rosewater Dish to women’s. The first trophies were given to the winners in 1887.
Australian tennis star Roy Emerson raising the Wimbledon trophy after winning the Wimbledon tournament for the second time in a row in 1965.
The finals for this year’s Wimbledon will take place this weekend. Good luck!