Joe De Luna, Director of Tennis
When we talk about the best tennis tournament in the world to watch, there is no doubt it is Wimbledon. Established in 1877 at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, Wimbledon is the oldest tennis tournament in world and played third on the Grand Slam calendar.
The name comes from its location — Wimbledon is located in a district just southwest of London. For two weeks beginning in late June, the best players in the world travel to Wimbledon. Members of Cordillera Ranch will also descend upon the courts in July to enjoy a fun tennis mixer wearing all white apparel — a Wimbledon tradition. Be sure to wear your Wimbledon Whites!
All major sporting events have signature snacks and drinks. Wimbledon’s traditional fare includes the Pimm’s Cup, a lemony gin-based drink with Pimm’s and fruit. Strawberries and cream are an essential part of the tournament. Some say the strawberry tradition began in 1953, with cream added in 1970. Others believe the tradition dates back to 1877. Either way, both strawberries and tennis officially signal the start of summer in Britain. Other favorites at Wimbledon include Britain’s classic fish and chips, afternoon tea with tea sandwiches and the long-standing celebratory drink, a glass of champagne.
Wimbledon at the Ranch will include some of these traditional delights. Arrive early and enjoy a glass of champagne along with strawberries and cream before ‘gentlemen’s,’ ‘ladies’’ and mixed doubles play. The format will be a fun doubles of all levels with rotating partners.
Wimbledon Fun Facts
Aside from the strict all-white dress code and select food and drink, there are a few other iconic Wimbledon traditions and interesting info.
• In the beginning, all four Grand Slam events were played on grass, but the Australian Open and the US Open have now moved to hard-courts and the French Open to clay. Wimbledon is the only one to still play on grass.
• Wimbledon still references the men’s and women’s events as ‘gentlemen’s’ and ‘ladies’’ events.
• In 2007, Wimbledon changed its policy and started awarding the same amount per event category to both men and women. Before that, gentlemen were always paid more.
• Wimbledon’s Centre Court is reserved solely for the Grand Slam, and not played on any other time of year.
• There is no sponsored advertising allowed in the Wimbledon complex.
• 250 ball boys and girls (BBGs) are employed to work at Wimbledon. On average they are 15 years old and earn about £150 for the two weeks. To qualify for this prestigious place on the court, the young boys and girls have to complete a training process that includes a double ultra-triathlon, i.e. 4.8-mile swim, 224-mile bike and 52.4-mile run. The children who excel in all are selected.
• The Royal Family are ardent supporters and frequent spectators of the tournament. They sit in the Royal Box and if the monarch or the Duke of Wales attends, players are required to curtsy.
• During World War II, five bombs hit the Centre Court, destroying 1,200 seats. It took nine years to fully restore it, and it can now hold 15,000 fans. Centre Court also has a retractable roof, installed in 2009, that prevents rain delays from causing loss of playing time.
Joe De Luna is the Director of Tennis at The Clubs of Cordillera Ranch. He can be reached at email@example.com or 830.336.4660.