After Andrew Murray’s storming victory at this years Wimbledon tournament, we figured that we had to do something to celebrate. Rather than your average run of the mill Wimbledon infographic we wanted to do something a little bit different with ours.
So we figured why not show everyone the other side of Wimbledon, the weird side behind the courts if you will. So here you have it, a few weird facts that you may not have known about Wimbledon!
What comes to mind when you think of Wimbledon? The tense repetition of luminous green balls batted back and forth across the court? The nail biting moments at the closing of a match? For some it may be about summer days, strawberries and cream; others may enjoy the sight of racquets being smashed and bashed on the ground in frustration.
We all can gain some enjoyment from the Wimbledon tournament. Since 1877 Wimbledon has been a source of international excitement as well as an experience that is quintessentially British.
To celebrate the closing of another year of quality tennis we wanted to share with you some of the things you may not have known about Wimbledon; some of the weird and wonderful facts about the most esteemed tournament in the game of tennis.
Hawk-Eye may be the cutting edge technology that measures whether a ball was in or out, but it also has a more literal meaning at Wimbledon. Rufus the American Harris hawk is at Wimbledon every day to keep the courts pest free. Rufus’ work begins at 5am, and any unruly pigeons that dare to wander onto Wimbledon’s prestigious courts will receive an immediate fright at the sight of Rufus swooping down on them.
It’s not only Rufus that you need to keep an eye in the skies for, more dangerous are the rogue tennis balls flying around. Each year 42,000 tennis balls are used at the Wimbledon tournament and according to Wimbledon’s Ball Distribution Manager Brian Mardling, “there’s probably about 50 balls go missing on average in a day”.
This means that many unlucky spectators are likely to see the flash of a light green ball before they see stars; only to wake with a sore bump on the head.
The Wimbledon soundtrack has become a celebrated aspect of the tournament. The unofficial soundtrack of Wimbledon is no doubt the exchange of grunts between players. The loudest grunt ever measured belong to Maria Sharapora, whose grunt managed to hit a whopping 105 decibels in the 2009 Wimbledon tournament.
It’s not only spectators and pigeons that take a beating at Wimbledon, the courts are filled with the racket of broken racquets. Sometimes the frustration gets a bit too much for many of the competitors and whatever is close to hand takes a beating. Wimbledon has seen many racquets lobbed, smashed and thrown over the years. It’s a good job then that wooden racquets were replaced in 1987 in favour for the modern sturdier models.
Of course, with matches that can go on as long as that the crowd are going to get hungry, and what better way to snack at Wimbledon than on the traditional Strawberries and cream. In fact the punnet served snack is so popular among the Wimbledon spectators that a colossal 28,000 kg of strawberries and 7000 litres of cream are guzzled on average every year by the Wimbledon crowd.
We couldn’t pass up the opportunity to express our joy at our very own Andy Murray’s victory at this year’s Wimbledon tournament. Murray’s victory at Wimbledon 2013 makes him the first British male champion in 77 years. Congratulations Murray, you’ve done us all proud!
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