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Ten Things You Didn't Know about Wimbledon

Friday 10 July 2015 Sport

Reckon yourself a bit of a Wimbledon expert? Add to your sporting arsenal with these nifty facts

It’s that time of year again.  This weekend, the 2015 instalment of tennis’s most prestigious tournament will draw to a close.  Whilst there’s nothing better than an event which encourages the consumption of strawberries and cream, there’s a lot more to Wimbledon than shorts and snacks.  Throw some of these interesting facts into any spectating session and your friends will no doubt be suitably impressed.

1. Yellow tennis balls were introduced in 1986

Before that balls were white and umpires had difficulty spotting them

2. Each year, 28,000kg of strawberries are sold

To ensure maximum freshness, all strawberries are picked the day before and inspected before being served.  112,000 punnets are sold with 7,000 litres of cream, 25,000 bottles of champagne and 32,000 portions of fish and chips

3. The fastest serve ever recorded hit 163.7 mph

It was hit by Australian player Samuel Groth in 2012, who reached a speed of 163.7 mph. The fastest ever serve at Wimbledon was hit by the American Taylor Dent in 2010, when he smashed the ball over the net at 148 mph. 

4. The last time a wooden racket was used at Wimbledon was in 1987

The surface area of the head of a modern tennis racket can be as large as 137 square inches.  This is roughly double the maximum head area that was possible with wooden rackets.

5. The longest tennis match ever played lasted for three days

With a total play time of 11 hours and five minutes, the first round match between John Isner and Nicolas Mahut in 2010 was held over three days.  The final set lasted eight hours and 11 minutes, with the final score 70-68 in favour of John Isner.

6. It was only in 2007 that the prize money for male and female tennis players were made equal

Andy Murray’s coach and former women’s champion Amelie Mauresmo, earned £30,000 less than the men's champion in 2006.

7. All players must wear white clothing and dress ‘decently’

The umpire decides if players meet the dress code and can make them get changed. American player Andre Agassi refused to play between 1988 and 1990 because he didn’t like the dress code and what he regarded as a ‘stuffy’ atmosphere.

8. The youngest ever player at Wimbledon was Mita Klima from Austria  

She was 13 years old when she played in 1907

9. On average ball boys and ball girls are 15 years old

 Each year, 250 are selected from roughly 750 entries to work at Wimbledon.  They earn about £150 for two weeks work

10. Selfie sticks have been banned from the Wimbledon championship