About Wimbledon Tennis

Held annually between late June and the beginning of July for two weeks (usually ending, at the latest, on the second Sunday of July) at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club in London, England, the tournament is the third Grand Slam event played each year, preceded by the Australian Open and the French Open, and followed by the U.S. Open.

Separate tournaments are simultaneously held, all at the same venue, for Gentlemen`s Singles, Ladies Singles, Gentlemen`s Doubles, Ladies` Doubles and Mixed Doubles. Youth tournaments Boys` Singles, Girls` Singles, Boys` Doubles and Girls` Doubles are also held. Additionally, special invitational tournaments are held: the 35 and over Gentlemen`s Doubles, 45 and over Gentlemen`s Doubles, 35 and over Ladies` Doubles and wheelchair doubles.

Players


A total of 128 players feature in each singles event, 64 pairs in each single-sex doubles event, and 48 pairs in Mixed Doubles. Players and doubles pairs are admitted to the main events on the basis of their international rankings, with consideration also given to their previous performances at grasscourt events. Currently (since 2001) 32 male and female players are given seedings in the Gentlemen`s and Ladies` singles while 16 teams are seeded in the doubles events.

Tickets


Wimbledon is the only major grand slam where fans without tickets for play that day can queue up and still get seats on Centre Court, Court 1 and Court 2. Usually there are 2 queues and each are allotted about 250 seats for each court. Fans are handed vouchers when they arrive in their queue with a number on it and the following morning when the line moves towards the Grounds, stewards come through the line and hand out wristbands that are colour coded to the specific court. The voucher is then redeemed at the ticket office for the ticket.

To get into the show courts, fans will normally have to queue overnight at Wimbledon. This is done by fans from all over the world and is considered part of the Wimbledon experience in itself. Tennis enthusiasts planning to queue overnight for the Championships are advised to bring along a tent and a sleeping bag. Times to queue up vary according to the weather, but anyone queueing up before 9PM on a weekday should be able to get a show court ticket. Queuing for the show courts end after the quarter finals have been completed.

Wimbledon Centre Court


Centre Court during the 2005 Wimbledon Championships.Centre Court may be used generically as the British English term for the main court at any tennis complex. However, it is most frequently used as the identifier for the main court at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club in Wimbledon, London, England. Built in 1922, it currently holds 13,810 spectators. Its only regular use is for the two weeks a year that the Wimbledon Championships take place, but it is arguably the most famous tennis venue in the world. This venue has a premier box that Queen Elizabeth II has even used. Centre Court will also be used for the tennis competition at the 2012 Summer Olympics.

The roof for the Centre Court was removed after the 2006 Championships in preparation for plans over a three year period to add a retractable roof. For the 2007 Championships, Centre Court had no roof at all for the first time since the stadium opened in 1922. A temporary fixed roof will be in place for the 2008 championship and the new retractable roof structure is scheduled to be in place for the 2009 Championships. Capacity will be increased to 15,000 by adding six rows of seats to the upper tier on the east, north and west sides. New media facilities and commentary boxes will be built to replace those currently in the upper tier. New wider seats will be installed and new additional stairs and lifts will be added.

Trophies and prize money


The Ladies` (top) and Gentlemen`s singles trophies.The Gentlemen`s Singles champion receives a silver gilt cup 18.5 inches (about 47 cm) in height and 7.5 inches (about 19 cm) in diameter. The trophy has been awarded since 1887 and bears the inscription: "The All England Lawn Tennis Club Single Handed Champion of the World." The Ladies` Singles champion receives a sterling silver salver commonly known as the "Venus Rosewater Dish", or simply the "Rosewater Dish". The salver, which is 18.75 inches (about 48 cm) in diameter, is decorated with figures from mythology. The winners of the Gentlemen`s Doubles, Ladies` Doubles, and Mixed Doubles events receive silver cups. The runner-up in each event receives an inscribed silver plate. The trophies are usually presented by the President of the All England Club, The Duke of Kent, and by his wife, the Duchess of Kent.

At Wimbledon, more prize money was traditionally awarded in the Gentlemen`s events than in the Ladies` events since men play 5 sets while women play 3. However, as of 2007 prize money is equal at all levels (in part in response to a powerful protest by tennis player Venus Williams).[5] This makes Wimbledon policy identical to that of the Australian Open, US Open, and most recently the French Open.[6] In 2005, Wimbledon prize money exceeded a total of L10 million (L10,085,510) total for the first time. The sums awarded to the winners of each of the main events in 2007 are as follows (the amounts shown for the doubles events are per pair):


Gentlemen`s Singles Winner L750,000 (US $1,482,800.95)
Ladies` Singles Winner L750,000 (US $1,482,800.95)
Gentlemen`s Doubles Winners L222,900 (US $448,405.23)
Ladies` Doubles Winners L222,900 (US $448,405.23)
Mixed Doubles Winners L90,000 (US $181,051.91)
2007 was the first year that both the Gentlemen`s and Ladies` Singles had the same prize money. Total prize money at Wimbledon 2007 was nearly 9% more than in 2006.



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