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The Legacy of Wimbledon

When I was in England, during the summer of ’09, a lot of memorable things took place. Madame Tussauds, LEGO land and what not. There was, however, a couple of things I missed which was of great importance. Maybe I didn’t realise back then or maybe due time constraints, I don’t know. One of them was not visiting the mecca of cricket ‘Lords’. That was practically the first question I was asked by my friends that had I been to Lords. The other was ‘Wimbledon’.

I  distinctively remember the day we went out to go to some random place in the route of which was this neat little city of Wimbledon. We took a detour to go inside and visit the district and we just happened to pass by this huge structure. I was told by my Uncle that it was the place where they play tennis matches. I didn’t realise back then what it actually was and we moved on. If I think about it now, I missed a chance that day, to visit the centre court of WIMBLEDON. I’d trade anything now to go back and visit it again. It is the place where gods of tennis have walked. The single most important event in world Tennis.

 

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Wimbledon centre court through years

 

The Championships in Wimbledon is the oldest and considered the most prestigious tennis tournament in the world which has been taking place from 1877. The tournament is played on grass courts. Along with French, Australian and US Open, Wimbledon is one of the four Grand Slam tournaments in the world. It is the only major tennis tournament played on grass courts. It includes a strict dress code for the player and also Royal Patronage. The inaugural championship of 1877 was won by Spencer Gore and the price for per ticket for the final was one shilling. Yeah, let that sink in. 😀 Since then, Wimbledon has witnessed a deluge of great players, both male and female, increasing the glory of the place by winning Grand Slams and Championships. Gentlemen’s Singles, Gentlemen’s Doubles, Ladies’ Singles, Ladies’ Doubles and Mixed Doubles are the five senior events which make the Championship along with a handful of Junior and invitation events.

The most successful player in Wimbledon’s history is Roger Federer and Martina Navratilova in Gentlemen’s and Ladies’ respectively. Roger Federer has been tied with Pete Sampras for the most number of Championship wins with 7 wins each. The earliest memory I have of Federer is probably when he won the 2003 Wimbledon Men’s Singles title. The man with a ponytail, yeah that’s how I used to recognise him. The centre court has witnessed some of the most iconic moments in the history of the game. One of them being Roger Federer winning his 17th Grand Slam title.

 

 

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The coveted Men’s Singles trophy resting on the Union Jack

 

For those of you who are wondering what the title means, it is not a random tennis scoreline. That was the Championship point for Roger Federer when he defeated Andy Murray to win his 7th Championship in 2012, thereby equalling Pete Sampras’ record for most number of championship wins. Other notable players who have graced the centre court with their genius backhands and fine volleys are Anthony Wilding, Steffi Graf, Bjorn Borg, Boris Becker, Dorothea Chambers, Serena Williams, Maria Sharapova and in recent times Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray.

Wimbledon has been an important event in the British culture and obviously, the final attracts celebrities from all over the world. From Sachin Tendulkar to Benedict Cumberbatch and even Her Majesty The Queen of England, have attended the matches in centre court making it one of the star-studded event in the world fo sport.

 

Day Thirteen: The Championships - Wimbledon 2014
David and Victoria Beckham with Samuel L. Jackson in the gallery at centre court

 

Visiting Wimbledon is right there on the top of my bucket list and it would be a moment of immense pleasure when the day comes.

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