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Wimbledon Tennis 2017
Even non-fans of tennis are familiar with Wimbledon. In the UK, this is a major cultural landmark, filled with excitement and competitiveness followers cannot get enough of – every year! From the Victorian era to now, from top hats and canes to smartphones and shades, tennis has survived all manner of societal changes. However, its challenge, demands for commitment, and sheer showmanship has entertained and captivated millions of people in that time.
With Wimbledon 2016 over and Wimbledon 2017 looming on the horizon, fans will be starting to consider the favourites to bet upon.
Making wagers on the outcome of Wimbledon offers the chance to win big prizes, and with the level of skill demonstrated year in, year out, knowing exactly who to back is easier said than done. To help you gain a stronger grasp of Wimbledon, we have compiled a comprehensive exploration of its past and present. We have dived into the most important incidents from across the tournament’s history, its rules, and the process of betting on it.
Today, betting online is faster, simpler, and more convenient than it has ever been before, thanks largely to the advances in mobile technology. Wherever you are, you will be able to place bets on Wimbledon 2017 using just a mobile website or an app – it really is that easy. But who should you pick?
Wimbledon Odds, Tips & Favourites
Every summer, the world’s tennis fans turn their attention to Wimbledon. Between June and July, year after year, this district of London becomes a hotspot for fans from across the globe, all eager to support their favourite tennis players.
Officially known as the Championships, Wimbledon, this tournament is not only a key fixture in the tennis world, it is actually a major event across all sports. Wimbledon is one of four core Grand Slam tennis tournaments, alongside three which even the most casual fan will know of: the US Open; the French Open; and the Australian Open.
The tournament takes place across two weeks at the end of June and the start of July, and always concludes with the Ladies’ and Gentlemen’s Singles Finals. Each year, these grand conclusions to the event are held on the second Saturday and Sunday of July, with the Ladies’ first and Gentlemen’s second. While we most commonly associate Wimbledon with adult-players, junior events also take place, alongside the major and invitational ones.
Over the years, the look and structure of Wimbledon has undergone some changes. However, one of the key aspects that marks it out from many other sports is the lack of any sponsorship advertisements placed around the court. Just contrast this with the look of football stadiums, which bear a huge number of different ads for sponsors. Why is this important? It helps to keep the focus on the sport itself, maintaining a feel of tradition and elegance without selling brands.
In both the men’s and women’s singles tournaments at Wimbledon, players must make their way through seven different stages. The first one consists of a staggering 128 players, and each round decreases the number, right down to the beginning of the finals. In the first round, 128 singles players take part, and this halves to 64 during the second round. By the third round, 32 players take part, but this is reduced to just 16 in the fourth round. When the Quarter Finals start, just eight singles players remain, which is knocked down to four in the Semi Finals.
Of course, as we arrive at the final, just two players are left. Combining both men and women, an incredible 256 adults compete in Wimbledon’s singles tournaments. Overall, a player faces a gargantuan task: winning six entire matches to progress from the crucial first round to the grand final. By the time this concluding match takes place, players have spent weeks competing at their very best, investing all their energy and skill into their game, so fighting to claim victory in that all-important finale is made even more challenging.
Considering the Players
As well as the singles events, men’s and women’s doubles also takes place during Wimbledon. There are 64 teams in all, in both the men’s and women’s sides, combining to a total 128 teams. An astounding 256 people take part in the doubles tournament.
Outside of standard gender-specific doubles, mixed doubles is another popular event. 48 teams play throughout the tournament, with numerous players on bye throughout the tournament’s earliest stages. Overall, 96 people are involved in the mixed doubles event.
So, overall, how many players combine to make Wimbledon happen? Theoretically, an impressive 608 people take to the court during the two-week tournament, all competing for victory in their respective area. However, this does not account for the juniors, seniors, and wheelchair players – when considering these athletes, there are over 1,000 people on-court at Wimbledon.
The junior events at Wimbledon has: 64 players in the boy’s singles; 64 players in the girls’ singles; 32 teams in the boys’ doubles; and 32 teams in the girls’ doubles,; and, last but by no means least, there are 12 teams in the disabled doubles category.
As well as these, there are five invitational events. To start with, there is the gentlemen’s invitation doubles, played in eight pairs of round robin. Second, there is the senior gentlemen’s invitation doubles (again with eight pairs round robin), and there is the ladies’ invitation doubles in eight pairs of round robin. Gentlemen’s wheelchair doubles, in four pairs, and ladies’ wheelchair doubles, again in four pairs.
As you can see, Wimbledon is incredibly inviting and accessible for all age groups and people of varied physical-abilities. This is a huge benefit not only to the players, but also to the global audience tuning in (or actually travelling to the UK), ensuring a broad reach and feeling of inclusiveness.
Wimbledon’s winners and highly-regarded players can carve-out long and successful careers for themselves in later life. Many iconic names (McEnroe, Becker, Henman, Hingis, and more) have provided live commentaries for matches over the years, as well as being personalities in their own right.
Thanks to Wimbledon, tennis holds a place of great esteem, and a combination of knowledge and likeability can lead to a respectable career both during and after a player’s time on the court.
Breaking into the Biggest Tennis Tournament on Earth
How can these players actually become involved in Wimbledon? Singles-players and doubles-pairs gain entry to the tournament based on their international rankings. 104 men gain direct entry, and 108 women receive direct entry, with a total of eight wild card entrants to add a touch of impartial randomness. The rest of the roster is chosen from qualifiers. In every tournament since 2001, 32 players have received seedings in both the gentlemen’s and ladies’ singles, as well as 16 teams in the various doubles events.
Seeding was actually integrated in 1924’s Wimbledon tournament, and gave every country the chance to elect four players to be placed in different areas of the draw, though this was later replaced in 1927. This change led to players being seeded on merit instead, with Helen Wills and Rene Lacoste granted the number-one spots in the first seedings.
In the gentlemen’s singles and gentlemen’s doubles, matches are played as best-of-five sets, though every other match in other events are played in best-of-three sets. Should any game reach 6-6 in a set, a two-game lead is vital to lead to a win; this only changes if the score is reached in the fifth or third set. All events are played as single-eliminations, though the gentlemen’s, senior gentlemen’s, and the ladies invitation doubles are all held as round robin events.
How are wild card players chosen for Wimbledon? This falls to the Committee of Management. Typically, wild-card picks fall to players who have demonstrated high-quality performance in previous events, or who are believed to help build more public interest in an event through participation (regardless of how likely they are to actually win). However, as we have established, accessibility is vital to Wimbledon, and this is reflected in the way in which certain players and pairs may be able to enter the tournament without having enough rankings or being picked for wild-card entry.
These players can take part in a special contest a week before the Wimbledon Championship. For singles players taking part in this event, they will face a three-round contest, while same-sex doubles teams have to compete for just a single round. Mixed doubles, on the other hand, cannot take part in this last-chance qualifier. Does this ever lead to victory? Yes, a number of times. Legendary player John McEnroe went on to reach the gentlemen’s singles’ semi-final way back in 1977, and he was a qualifier. Meanwhile, Vladimir Voltchkov entered the tournament as a qualifier and reached the semi-final, as did Alexandra Stevenson in 1999.
If this is how adults gain entry to Wimbledon, how about the junior players? This falls to recommendations on their behalf given by national tennis associations, as well as their rankings in the International Tennis Federation (ITF)’s records. In the singles events, juniors must take part in a qualifying competition. Regarding junior players in the four invitational events, this falls to the Committee of Management.
Taking Centre Court
The stadium in any sport is incredibly important, and, given Wimbledon’s worldwide appeal and popularity, it is especially key here. Given that tennis matches are prone to running incredibly long, and have such a small space to play on, keeping the space itself in a visually-appealing state is vital. Since 2001, Wimbledon’s courts have all been sown with nothing but perennial ryegrass. What was used before this change came into effect? It was a combination of 30 percent Creeping Red Fescue and 70 percent ryegrass. This switching of grass was undertaken to enhance both the ground’s durability and help to strengthen the sward, allowing it to accommodate the more wearing-effects of modern tennis. There are a number of courts used to host Wimbledon’s matches.
The most famous is easily Centre Court, which is widely-regarded as perhaps the world’s most iconic tennis court. The two-week tournament is the court’s only regular game, and this is graced with the well-known Royal Box, where members of Britain’s Royal Family sit to watch games. Other guests and dignitaries are invited to share the box too. Centre Court underwent major work in 2009, to install a retractable roof. This has the key benefit of allowing gameplay to continue despite the weather; rain can, and does, call a halt to matches in Wimbledon, causing great frustration to players, the audience, and viewers at home alike. With Centre Court’s retractable roof, the risk of rain is no longer an issue, a great advantage during finals. Any stoppage can cause major problems for players’ sense of momentum and energy levels – too long a delay may leave them unable to continue in the same mind-set or agility.
This roof takes just 20 minutes to open and close, though play must be suspended during this period, making delays inevitable, despite their being shorter. The court’s seating accommodates a staggering 15,000 guests, which may surprise those of us who have only watched the event on television; on-screen, audiences do not appear to be quite so large.
Centre Court has a long and profound history at Wimbledon. This was first opened in 1922 (almost 100 years ago), after the resident club shifted from its Worple Road base to Church Road; the latter venue offered more space, making it easier for them to accommodate expanding public interest.
Alongside Centre Court, No. 1 Court is massively popular. Likewise, this is only used for Wimbledon’s two weeks. Outside of these icons, another 17 courts are actually available, though these see much more use outside of the tournament. Under special circumstances, though, Centre Court and No. 1 Court may be used beyond the expected two weeks; one occasion may be if the two-week event rolls over into a third week, and as in 2012, when the London Olympics’ tennis events led to the courts being re-opened.
The current No. 1 Court was erected in 1997 to replace the older build, which stood adjacent to the all-important Centre Court. The main reason for this demolition was that its seating capacity was simply too small, and the current erection can seat as many as around 11,000 visitors. However, while this is obviously beneficial for the Wimbledon tournament itself, the original No. 1 Court was believed to possess a more charming, more cosy atmosphere, beloved by many players throughout the years.
The tournament has put Wimbledon on the map. Thanks to tennis, Wimbledon is synonymous with a certain level of quality, competitiveness, and cultural importance. Every year, millions upon millions of people tune in to watch the matches on television (and, in this digital age, live streaming), and radio stations also broadcast games too. The BBC, known around the world as a leading name in entertainment, has been responsible for showing Wimbledon in the UK – since 1937! Wimbledon 2017 will again be screened by the BBC, split across BBC One and BBC Two (the corporation’s flagship channels).
From Humble Beginnings
Wimbledon has a long and varied history. As discussed above, the championship has expanded and evolved to welcome players from all around the world, with diverse backgrounds, abilities, and physical-capabilities. This is a fantastic achievement for a tournament which has its roots in the late 19th century.
The All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, the heart of the tournament, was founded long, long ago: July 1868.
This was first known as The All England Croquet Club, based just off Wimbledon’s Worple Road. Nobody could know just how iconic this club would go on to become over the following century, not just how massive its role in international sports would eventually be.
Considering the club’s standing in the world of tennis, it’s fascinating that the game was only added to the club’s portfolio in 1876 – almost a decade after the venue was established. This game, known officially as lawn tennis, was created by a man named Major Walter Clopton Wingfield. By this point, the game was just over a year old, and originally titled Sphairistike (thankfully, this changed). The origins of tennis actually lie in 12th century France, where a popular game involved hitting a ball back and forth with the palm, a favourite of Louis X. Known as jeu de paume (or ‘game of the palm’), this game would inspire Louis X to actually create what may be considered the first indoor tennis courts, due to this distaste for playing outside.
This design caught on amongst other royals across Europe, and Louis is regarded as the world’s first named tennis player – an honour to have. Funnily enough, it took until the 16th century for players to incorporate rackets into the game, hitting the balls with an instrument rather than simply using their palms. Around this same period, the term ‘tennis’ became to be used, taken from tenez, a French term for ‘take’ or ‘receive’. Generally, tennis became hugely popular in France and England, but was still only played indoors, with the ball being struck against a wall.
The Evolution of Tennis
While indoor tennis is still very much a popular way to play today, many of us are far more familiar with outdoors tennis. When did this begin? Experts believe the first lawn mower’s arrival in 1830 (hundreds of years since Louis X helped drive the game’s popularity) to be the root, which grass courts able to be prepared with far more ease. Likewise, other grass-centric sports – football, bowls, etc. – are also attributed to this change.
However, Major Wingfield is credited with establishing the game we know of as ‘tennis’ in its modern form. His work helped to make tennis a major sport with fans all over, not least with the production of his first boxed set: inside this, rackets, balls, a net, and poles were al included, along with his rules. Praised as something of a marketing genius, Major Wingfield managed to increase interest in his sport by sending his boxed sets to influential people across the globe, including lawyers, clergy, and aristocratic figures.
This occurred around 1874. It’s a testament to his hard work and powerful marketing skills that the first Wimbledon championships took place in 1877. Before this, The All England Croquet Club was renamed The All England Croquet and Lawn Tennis Club, and created a new set of laws for the event. These rules are still in use today, though some details (such as the net’s height, posts, and distances) differ now.
So, after the rapid growth of Major Wingfield’s modern tennis, the first Wimbledon tournament began on the 9th of July 1877, and featured just one event: the gentlemen’s singles. The first champion was one Spencer Gore, a rackets and cricket player in his late twenties, who fought off competition from 22 other players. Amazingly, just 200 or so people attended the final, with each paying a shilling each – a far cry from today’s massive finales.
Over the next five years, tennis became such a popular pastime at the club, the term ‘croquet’ was removed from its name altogether, though this was later brought back in 1899 by popular demand. It wasn’t until 1884 that ladies singles was added to the club, allowing women to compete, and gentlemen’s doubles was also introduced. Later on, in 1913, the club added ladies doubles and mixed doubles to the roster. Another change came in 1922: until this time, the reigning winner from the previous year’s tournament was required only to play in the present final, competing with whomever had fought through the current event. It would be hard to imagine this rule being accepted in today’s Wimbledon tournament, and would likely be deemed unfair to both parties.
Until the open era came along in 1968, the Wimbledon championship was accessible only to the top amateurs, with no professionals allowed. This was in keeping with the other three Grand Slam (or Major) events in the tennis world. The main reasons for the introduction of this open era were widespread beliefs of amateurs receiving illicit money and commercial pressure; once the long-standing rule prohibiting professional players fell by the wayside, the international pro-tennis circuit was established. After this, tennis became a much more accessible sport, leading to more and more people from all walks of life taking it up (the idea of it being just for the upper-classes was shed, centuries after Louis X had popularized the early version of the game among his wealthy friends).
Newcomers to tennis may find themselves confused by the way in which scores are measured and points are awarded. Unlike more accessible sports, such as football (put the ball in the goal to receive one point), tennis can appear fairly complex. This sport does have a fairly unusual system, with scores neither going up in units of one or of an equal amount.
Instead, a game of tennis has varying scores. The first point is a 15, and the second is 30. It would make sense, then, for the third point awarded to be 45, if the score were to go up in increments of 15 units. However, this is a mistake – the third point is always 10.
How does this work? Why is there such a dramatic change from what might appear to be a more logical method of scoring?
We’ll get to that. On top of this jump from 15 to 30 to 40 is the strange way in which a player’s ‘zero’ points are not actually referred to as such, but instead as ‘love’. Isn’t this unusual? As anyone who has watched tennis in person or on television, the term ‘love’ is used repeatedly, along with others which seem out of place. We’ll get to these shortly.
Let’s take a closer look at tennis scoring and terms.
First of all, it’s vital to establish the overall aim of tennis: Players are required to strike the ball over the net, so that it lands inside the court’s margins in a way to prevent their opponent from hitting it back. Whenever this happens (so, the opposing player cannot return the ball), the player to achieve this is awarded a point.
At the start of a game, one player is given the chance to serve, while the other must receive. Players get to choose their starting role, and the side of the net, with a coin toss, though players will switch roles throughout the game. Servers and receivers alike must get into the proper position before play commences: the server has to stand behind the court’s baseline, placed between the sideline and the centre-mark, while the receiver can adopt a stance wherever they like (provided it’s on their side of the net, of course). Whenever the receiver is primed to start play, the serving player will begin.
Different types of service are included in the game. One of these is the ‘legal’ service, in which the ball will fly over the net without actually coming into contact with it, and reach the box at the diagonal opposite. However, should the ball connect with the net but still land in the appropriate service box, this is known as a ‘net’ or ‘let’ service. This is a void action, and so the server is required to retake the serve.
In a point, players are free to keep serving let services as they like, without these being classed as faults. What is a fault? This is a serve that hits too wide, or too long, outside of the target service box; a fault may be a serve that also fails to pass over the net. Another fault is the ‘foot fault’: this is assigned to a player when their foot comes into contact with the baseline or even an extension of the centre mark in the time before they strike the ball. Should the server perform two faults, of either kind, this is referred to as a ‘double fault’. In this case, the receiver is awarded the point.
So, whenever a legal service leads to both players striking the ball back and forth, as we associate with tennis in its most gripping moments, this is known as a rally. If a player hits the ball before it can bounce two times, or come into contact with any fixtures (excluding the net, of course), on its journey to the server’s part of the court, this is known as a legal return. An important rule is that a player cannot hit the ball two times while it is in their part of the court – they must hit it just once without it crossing the net.
Should a ball strike the net during a rally (back-and-forth play), it is counted as a legal return only if it reaches the opponent’s area. A point will be lost if a player cannot make a legal return, and servers are then placed on the service line’s other side, to commence play for a new point.
Terms of the Game
You will likely be familiar with the terms ‘game’, ‘set’, and ‘match’. What do they mean?
The game is made up of several points, in which the same player will serve the ball and the other will receive it. In order to win a game, a player must rack up at least four points (overall), and at least two more points than their opponent. Within each game, a score of between zero and three points is referred to as ‘love’, ‘fifteen’, ‘thirty’, and ‘forty’ as we discussed earlier. Should each player have achieved three or more points, the score is called ‘deuce’ rather than the respective points themselves. If a player manages to claim more points over their opponent, they have the ‘advantage’.
What is a set?
This is a number of games which ends when the number of said games’ results corresponds with specific criteria. Generally, if a player manages to claim a minimum of six wins (so, six games) and a minimum of two more than the opponent, they will be named winner of the set. If there is not the two-game gap between players’ scores, then the match will go into a tie-break situation to identify who can claim the set as their own.
What is “match”?
The match is the overall meeting between two players, including the sets and the games within them. In order to be crowned winner of the match, a player must claim three or five sets as their own; while this is true in the Wimbledon championship and other professional events, players simply enjoying themselves can agree to play to any sets as they see fit. Professionals will play a best of five system, across all four of the Grand Slam events (not just Wimbledon), while female players are required to win best of three sets, again across every Grand Slam tournament.
However, contrary to the tie-break rule mentioned above, in the Grand Slam and Olympic events, these are no incorporated. Instead, players will compete on and on, until one of them has achieved a two-game lead over their opponent. As many of us know, this can lead to some extensive matches, with players spending hours upon hours on the court, vying for victory over their rivals. The longest men’s singles match at Wimbledon ran on for an impressive 11 hours and five minutes, with a total of 183 games played; this was a 2010 match between John Isner and Nicolas Mahut, with the former claiming a victory.
Exploring Wimbledon’s Global Appeal
As we’ve already established, Wimbledon is watched all over the world. Official statistics show that the tournament is broadcast for more than 1 billion people across 200 territories. In the UK, the gentlemen’s singles final managed to achieve a peak viewing-figure of 13.3 million, grabbing around 69 percent of the share at the peak time. With so many viewing options and alternative entertainment choices today, any broadcast able to claim so much of the potential audience is special.
In the US, ESPN broadcasts Wimbledon. The 2016 tournament was the most-watched in the history of the event, with an increase of 35 percent over 2015’s championship. Meanwhile, in Canada, TSN broadcast the gentlemen’s singles final to an impressive 2.4 million people. As you can see, Wimbledon holds a special place in the hearts of viewers across the globe, with people in countries thousands of miles from Britain fixated on a district of London that might otherwise be unknown to most.
So, what is it that makes Wimbledon so popular? Why does it attract so much interest year in, year out? Well, this isn’t an easy question to answer. With so many entertainment and sporting events rolling out in any given twelve-month period, is it just tradition that keeps fans hooked, or something more?
First of all, let’s begin with that word: tradition. Over the years, Wimbledon has acquired a certain reputation and image; for those of us in Britain, many of us may only even know of Wimbledon’s existence because of the yearly tournament. We have our own associations with the event: strawberries and cream; Cliff Richard (the famed English singer) entertaining the audience with his infamous ‘Congratulations’ performance; Royalty watching the crucial games, usually surrounded by other famous faces. We know that the event is one of the more sophisticated sporting spectacles in the entire industry. In massive tournaments like the football World Cup, for example, there are more ‘gritty’ connotations; we may be used to seeing football fans in pubs and bars, drinking heavily and cultivating a certain rowdiness. With tennis, particularly Wimbledon, we associate the event with the middle- and upper-classes, even though people from all walks of life become fascinated by the tournament.
There is a definite air of quintessential Britishness surrounding the Wimbledon championships, and there is a politeness and a refinement to the entire process. While the game itself can become intense, particularly during long-running rallies, and audiences are prone to cheering their champs on, each match is generally a calm, silent affair. Anyone who has watched tennis, either at Centre Court itself or on television, will be familiar with the trademark grunts and groans as players sprint across their small court, pushing themselves to the limits of their physical prowess; in particular, female players have been warned in the past about the somewhat provocative nature of their sounds. This may have been something of a controversial move, but it seems to have made little to no impact – those sounds of exertion are as much a part of the tournament as the ball and rackets themselves.
Outside of the sense of sophistication and tradition, Wimbledon is also the home of tennis itself. As we discussed earlier, the game has its roots in France of centuries ago, when it was played with the palm of the hand and favoured by aristocrats. However, the first tennis tournament took place at Wimbledon in 1877, which also makes the event the oldest in the sport. Rather than being another tournament held in another part of the world (which is no less exciting), the Wimbledon championship is played right in the heart of modern tennis. There is a real sense of authenticity about the tournament. For dedicated fans of the sport, with a passion for its history and its humble beginnings, visiting Wimbledon to watch professional matches unfold has an irresistible allure. It is a pilgrimage, of sorts.
Strawberries and Cream: An Annual Feast
Whenever Wimbledon takes place each year, fans (even the most casual) throw themselves into the spirit of the event wholeheartedly. On an annual basis, around 28000 kg of strawberries and 7,000 litres of cream are devoured. Why? Again, this has to do (at least in part) with tradition. Even at the All England Club’s first Worple Road location, spectators would sit and enjoy a bowl of strawberries as they watched matches unfold. Trying to find a definitive reason for this trend is slightly more difficult than you might imagine, but there are numerous factors contributing to it.
For starters, strawberries are in season in the summer months, during which the championship falls, and they were a fashionable food in Victorian England. As part of afternoon tea, an essential element of any wealthy Victorian’s day, strawberries were a must-have. This quickly became associated with the Wimbledon club and its championships, and today is as synonymous with the event as anything else. This is another aspect of the quintessential-British charm that blankets Wimbledon, and people will pay money for a bowl of strawberries and cream without really knowing why it is so integral to the location.
Outside of the cultural importance of the Wimbledon championships, what else keeps it such a perennially-popular staple of the sporting calendar? The big-name players have to be a huge contribution. The world’s biggest and most popular stars, across both men’s and women’s singles, as well as doubles, arrive at Wimbledon each year. Throughout the decades, there have been iconic names included in the Wimbledon roster, with some of the most popular including Billie Jean King, Roger Federer, Bjorn Borg, and more all putting their blood, sweat, and tears into the game. Wimbledon allows the most gifted tennis players to demonstrate their worth, in front of millions of spectators and in the original home of the sport – there is certainly a lot of pressure, but the opportunity to play where so many legends have before them must be a massive thrill for any player, regardless of their seeding.
The more big-name players arriving at Wimbledon, the more engaged many people are likely to be. Not only do these players bring their fans with each appearance, they also attract new ones, not just helping to boost their own profiles but also that of the tournament. Winning Wimbledon is a huge achievement in the career of any tennis player, and can lead to lucrative pursuits elsewhere: advertising sports-gear; providing commentary on future games; conducting interviews with other players during Wimbledon. The possibilities go on and on.
Prizes, Trophies, and Pride
Speaking of the lucrative side of the championship, it would be remiss not to mention the large prizes players can win for taking part in Wimbledon. Winners across both the men’s and women’s singles walked away from the 2016 tournament with a stellar £2m each, as well as the trophy. Considering the years of hard work, dedication, and sacrifice these stars invest into their passion, the money is well-deserved. Of course, players take part for far, far more than the monetary reward – it’s the pride, the sense of achievement, the reaching of a monumental goal that keeps them coming back again and again.
What of the runner-ups?
Players coming in second place achieve a £1m reward (again, for both men and women), while semi-finalists still receive a remarkable £500,000 for their efforts. Quarter finalists are given £250,000. Those reaching the 4th round receive £132,000, the 3rd round £80,000, and the 2nd round £50,000. Any player going as far as the 1st round will be given £30,000. This is a total of £10.85m in both the men’s and women’s singles finals.
Which single-player could resist the opportunity to compete for such massive prizes?
Beyond this, though, the prizes for doubles and wheelchair competitors decrease somewhat. In doubles, male and female teams walk away with £350,000 for top place, while runner-ups receive £175,000. Semi-finalists in doubles achieve £88,000 and quarter finalists get £44,000. In mixed doubles, the top prize dips to £100,000, while runner-ups can expect £50,000.
Wheelchair players receive £25,000 for coming in first, and £12,5000 for second place.
How long has Wimbledon prize money been awarded? While you may think this has been an integral part of the tournament from day one, this actually not the case. The first prize funds were only awarded in 1968, when professional players were granted access to compete in the tournament. However, the amount available is in stark contrast to 2016’s massive funds: just £26,150 was for grabs across all events. The male winner could claim £2,000, while the women’s winner took a meagre £750.
Until 2007, women’s events always paid out less than men’s. Wimbledon changed this policy, which had been a long time coming, and now female competitors earn just as much as their male counterparts. However, while many would agree this is only fair, the decision proved controversial, with women spending less time on the court than male players (outside of mixed doubles). Women play their matches based on a best out of three sets system, while the men’s matches are the best out of five.
Prize funds have increased considerably over the decades. In 2013, Wimbledon’s total prize amount was £22,560,000. By 2015, the Wimbledon prize money for the singles events had jumped to £1,880,000 for both the male and female singles champions. The overall amount for 2015 had increased by 7 percent, climbing to £26,750,000 from 2014’s £25,000,000. Over time, the money available will keep on increasing, spurring players on to compete at ever-raising stakes.
Rankings in the Modern Game
On the subject of fluctuations, the ranking points players can receive during their time at Wimbledon have also changed. Both the ATP (Association of Tennis Professionals) and WTA (Women’s Tennis Association, founded by the legendary Billie Jean King) record players’ achievements and seeding.
For reaching the first round, players will earn 10 points from the ATP and WTA alike. However, for second-round, players are awarded 45 by the ATP and 70 for the WTA. In the third round, players can expect 90 points (ATP) or 130 (WTA). For reaching the fourth-round, players will be given 180 points (ATP) and 240 (WTA).
Players able to reach the quarterfinals will be granted 360 points by the ATP and 430 points by the WTA. Semifinalists will get 720 points (ATP and 780 (WTA). Runners-up will be given 1200 (ATP) and 1300 (WTA). Champions of the Wimbledon tournament can claim 2000 points from the ATP and 2000 from the WTA alike.
Being able to claim the highest rank is, of course, another reason for players to take part in Wimbledon. While the three other Grand Slam events are major tournaments with their own loyal fan-bases, there is a real magic and credibility to winning Wimbledon. Players may well see claiming the trophy and the top prize as the pinnacle of achievement in the tennis world, and feel they have earned a place in the sport’s history. As many players have demonstrated during their victory speeches, becoming the champion is often an incredibly emotional achievement, with tears a common sight.
It’s not just the players themselves who can earn money from Wimbledon. Every year, betting shops and websites across the country provide customers with the option to place wagers on the outcome of certain matches, as well as the overall event. Being able to put money down on specific players is a powerful way for the public to get involved, and gives them more reason to support certain competitors; the prospect of winning big cash for choosing the right man or woman is a major draw which keeps even the most casual fan trying their luck.
In summer 2016, it was revealed that the amount of bets placed on tennis in the UK had increased dramatically, and has become second only to football. Considering that football is adored by millions of Britons, many of whom make regular wagers on their favourite teams, tennis matches must generate significant revenue. As betting becomes easier and more convenient, with mobile sites and apps allowing customers to make wagers at any time, any place, the number of people trying to beat the Wimbledon odds is likely to just keep on rising.
Wimbledon’s Most Iconic Moments
Without doubt, there have been many iconic moments throughout the history of Wimbledon. These championships are not just the key fixture in the tennis calendar, but in the overall sports world – numerous events have drawn even more attention to it over the years. In chronological order, let’s explore some of the most unforgettable moments in Wimbledon’s history, some of which centred on controversial or union-action, throwing the tournament into the spotlight for unconventional reasons.
One of the most impressive, and frankly strange, is when a member of the Royal family decided to take to the court themselves.
As we’ve already established, royalty has a long and loyal relationship with Wimbledon. This doubtless comes from the earliest years, in which the sport was mostly a pastime of the upper-classes, and today’s more accessible royals still like to visit the tournament year in, year out. However, in 1926, one brave member of this world-renowned clan decided to escape the royal box for a little hands-on excitement.
George the sixth
George VI, the then-Duke of York, took part in a doubles tournament alongside his wing commander, one Louis Greig. One can only imagine what the spectators must have thought.
The match pitted the Duke and his wing commander against Arthur Gore and H. Roper Barrett (both of whom were in their fifties at the time). However, while the match was no doubt fascinating to watch, the Duke failed to achieve a victory that day – he, and his ally, were beaten in three sets straight. To this date, George VI is the only royal to have taken to Centre Court themselves.
Another event caused something of a scandal at Wimbledon, but for entirely different reasons. While we may be used to female players taking to the court with short skirts today, with any glimpses of their shorts underneath par for the course, once upon a time the barest hint of inappropriate clothing could cause quite the stir. In 1949, still a very, very conservative age, one player sparked controversy by wearing underwear found to be wholly inappropriate.
Known as ‘Gussy’, Gertrude Augusta Moran was an American tennis player, with her highest US ranking standing at an impressive 4th. However, despite her strong career and considerable skills, Moran nevertheless drew criticism for her choice of clothing: she donned a short dress (designed by official Wimbledon host, Mr Ted Tinling). Said outfit was short enough for her lacey, ruffled knickers to be seen by spectators throughout the match.
Needless to say, this was a first for Wimbledon, and ruffled a few feathers. This prompted reporters to refer to her as ‘Gorgeous Gussie’, while eagle-eyed photographers vied for the best positions to capture the most tell-all images. Surprising nobody, Wimbledon officials failed to see the attractive, or funny, side: Moran later said they went ‘mad’, with the committee of the then All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club claiming she had brought ‘vulgarity and sin’ to their sport.
After this cold reception, Moran quickly reverted to wearing shorts.
Ted Tinling, designer of her outfit and host of the tournament for a huge 23 years, found himself shunned for more than three decades. He wasn’t invited back to Wimbledon until 1982 – 33 years after the ‘Gorgeous Gussie’ scandal. Further fallout came when Parliament even debated Moran’s choice of attire.
A Royal Scare
Returning to the Royal family, they again made the news at Wimbledon in 1957. During the men’s doubles final, with Neale Fraser and Lew Hoad pitted against Gardnar Mulloy and Budge Patty, the Queen experienced what must have been a disturbing incident.
During the match, a protester scrambled over the courtside wall, and managed to reach Centre Court. They held a sign in their hands which read ‘Save Our Queen’, a statement that appears bizarrely cryptic on first glance. However, the protester in question, one Helen Jarvis, was drawing attention to the Life, Love, and Sex Appeal Party; she gave reason for her behaviour as wanting the UK to have a new banking system.
With a minimum of fuss, the match referee, Col Legg, helped police officers escort Jarvis off the court and away from the royals. Despite the fright this event must have given the Queen, she remained happy to attend in the future. She visited the tournament again in 1962, 1977, 2010.
We move on to 1973 now, which saw most of the male players pull out of the championship, following an unpopular ruling by the ILTF (International Lawn Tennis Federation) refused to allow Niki Pilic, the then number one player in the world, from taking part in Wimbledon. Their reasoning? He had also taken part in a professional doubles match in Canada when he should have been playing at the Davis Cup some time earlier.
The Association of Tennis Professionals, which had only recently formed at the time, took the same action many unions would take in similar circumstances: they insisted players should have the option to take part in any event they like, at any time, in any place, instead of doing as the ILTF ordered them to. This is a fair standpoint, but the ILTF failed to see it that way. The two bodies fought over the incident, and as a result, the majority of the world’s top-seeded players refused to take part in Wimbledon.
This strike saw the championship lose a staggering 79 players from its roster, but the event still went ahead. While it’s fair to assume a lack of top-ranked players would allow a lesser-known contender to take the top spot, the winner was actually a proven champion: Jan Kodes had claimed victory at the French Open on two occasions, and walked away with the Wimbledon title.
In 1981, Wimbledon was rocked by one of the most infamous events in its glorious history. The legendary John McEnroe, a native New Yorker who would go on to become known across the globe, became furious during a match against Tom Gullikson. This was just in the first round of the tournament, but saw McEnroe almost ejected from the event after he took exception to the umpire’s refusal to rule his serve. This led the young McEnroe to brand the umpire, Edward James, an ‘incompetent fool’ and utter the immortal words ‘you cannot be serious’.
To say that this rant has gone on to become famous would be a massive understatement – it has echoed throughout subsequent generations, so that people who weren’t even alive at the time knew of it. This outburst certainly helped to make McEnroe a household name, though this is not to dispute his extraordinary talents or engaging personality. In the decades since, McEnroe went on to be a regular sight on television, particularly as a presenter and commentator at Wimbledon itself. He also managed to host his own prime time Saturday-night television game show on BBC One (the UK’s biggest, most well-known channel) titled The Chair. This was centred around players maintaining their cool whilst being subjected to numerous questions; during the show, players’ hearts were constantly monitored, and any increase over a specified line would lead to their failure.
The theme of the show made McEnroe the perfect host, and each show started with his iconic outburst.
Lightning Strikes Once
Another major incident of the 1980s struck Wimbledon quite literally. In 1985, Wimbledon’s opening day was thrown into chaos when lightning hit the site’s new press centre, causing significant structural damage and almost endangering lives. The centre was housed inside the new building for administration staff, which had incurred a massive cost of £4m to erect.
Footage shows the ball girls and boys reacting as lightning hit the court’s foundations. As a result of the impact, six massive chunks of masonry plunged approximately 90 feet towards the people sitting below, with some people missed by just a couple of feet.
As we move into the 1990s, the 1991 championship became known for having one of the tournament’s wettest opening weeks. As a result of the heavy downpour, a whopping 52 out of 240 planned matches only took place by the Thursday evening, which prompted the event’s organisers to arrange play on Sunday instead. This had never been done before, but led to a huge response from the public. People were only too happy to get in line for unreserved seats (selling at £10 each, a fair price back then); in fact, said line actually almost measured an unbelievable two miles in length.
On this Sunday in the middle of the tournament, 24,894 visitors went to the All England Lawn Tennis Club. The tickets granted spectators access to a variety of matches. While the rain certainly played havoc with the event’s usual calendar and schedule, it did little to dampen the mood for fans, particularly with such a fresh change being introduced. The next Sunday service for Wimbledon didn’t take place until 1997, when further stormy weather led to major issues.
While 1996’s Wimbledon championship saw more rain, it was nowhere near as dramatic as 1991 or the year to follow. However, downpours did lead to delays, so much so that a little impromptu entertainment was in order. Luckily, Sir Cliff Richard, one of the UK’s most iconic, most respected performers, was in the audience – and in the mood to sing.
Sir Cliff got to his feet and sang ‘Singin’ in the Rain’ to the crowds, elevating spirits and ensuring the Wimbledon mood was sustained. Sitting in drizzly conditions for hours on end, with many stops and starts, is enough to challenge anyone’s sunny disposition. Sir Cliff was joined by the likes of Virginia Wade, Conchita Martinez, Pam Shriver, and Martina Navratilova, making for a unique range of singers. Sir Cliff also praised the audience, claiming they took to his act immediately.
At the time, he may have had no idea just how well people would remember this, but it is definitely one of the most famous Wimbledon moments of all time.
Still, even with these headline-making moments, Wimbledon remains an incredible draw for fans and casual viewers across the globe. While the occasional controversy and light-hearted fun helps to create more press for the event, and sustain people’s interest, they always come second to the tournament itself. When we tune in to Wimbledon matches, or attend them in person, we know we are watching two remarkable athletes pushing themselves to their limits – and, often, beyond. The dedication, passion, and perseverance tennis-players demonstrate during these two weeks is inspiring, and unlike team-based games, the singles’ matches leave players out on the court alone. They have nobody to pick up the slack or set up their moves. They have only themselves to depend upon.
Perhaps this is one of the reasons the event remains just so popular every year, as well as the sense of tradition and excitement.
Looking Ahead to Wimbledon 2017
As 2016’s Wimbledon tournament has been and gone, the time comes to look ahead to the 2017 championship. For anyone looking to place bets on the outcome of next year’s matches, the announcement of schedules, fixtures, and changes is very important – and exciting. Placing wagers on the outcome of any sport takes time and consideration: the more informed you are before you put your money down, the better your chances of getting returns on your investment. People who place bets on tennis-players likely follow their favourites for years, understanding when they are at their best as well as the times when they may be set up to face a greater challenge. Luckily, online betting sites make understanding the Wimbledon odds and payments quick, easy, and convenient, ensuring customers can add funds to their account and make bets with a minimum of fuss.
As Wimbledon reaches people all around the world, being able to place bets from almost any country is vital for any fan. Luckily, many betting sites actually accept a variety of currencies, allowing those looking to make wagers the chance to try their luck wherever they are. A wide selection of online payment methods also maximise accessibility, catering to diverse lifestyles and budgets.
The Early Details You Need to Know
Are you a long-time lover of tennis? Are you excited for the start of the 2017 Wimbledon tournament, even though it’s just under a year away? Are you a keen bettor looking to make wagers on next year’s biggest, most exciting tennis games?
Well, if so, you’re no doubt craving information on the upcoming Wimbledon championship, but so far from the event itself, details are fairly thin on the ground. Nevertheless, we have put together all the essential information you need to know to get yourself prepared for the 2017 tournament – read on to get your gaming appetite whetted!
It has already been announced that the Wimbledon championship will take place between Monday the 3rd July and Sunday the 16th July 2017. The schedule has been released, though obviously no names or teams have been finalised as of yet. For those of you looking to develop some idea of when the most important matches will be held, the dates and pairings are as follows:
On the first Monday of the tournament, gentlemen’s singles first round will take place from 11.30am on Centre Court, while ladies’ singles first round will be held at 1pm on the No.1 Court. This is when the major part of the event itself will kick off, with fans’ eyes around the world eagerly watching the top names, trying to judge who will walk away from the tournament as a champion and who will be left to come back again the following year for another chance. While Wimbledon features a variety of different events, the singles is generally regarded as the most exciting, and the main reason so many of us choose in.
On the Tuesday following, the gentlemen’s singles first round will continue on outside courts, while ladies’ singles first round will carry on at No. 1 Court. The Wednesday will see more events taking place as the first week reaches its median day. From 11.30am on the outside courts again, from 1pm on Centre Court and No.1 Court, gentlemen’s singles second round, ladies’ singles second round, gentlemen’s doubles first round, and ladies’ doubles first round will all be held (no doubt to a warm welcome).
So, by the time the event will reach its first Thursday, and rapidly approach the halfway mark, the gentlemen’s singles second round, ladies’ singles second round, and gentlemen’s doubles first round, and the ladies’ doubles first round will all take place from 11.30am on the outside courts and from 1pm on Centre Court and No.1 Court.
On the first Friday, the gentlemen’s singles third round, ladies’ singles third round, gentlemen’s doubles second round, and ladies’ doubles second round will take place from 11.30am on the outside courts and from 1pm on Centre Court and No.1 Court.
The middle Saturday will see the junior players enter the tournament, with matches running from 11am on the outside courts and from 1pm on the Centre Court and No.1 Courts. The gentlemen’s singles third round, ladies’ singles third round, gentlemen’s doubles second round, ladies’ doubles second round, mixed doubles first round, and boys’ and girls’ singles first round all beginning. This should be an exciting day for fans who embrace all aspects of Wimbledon, and will see junior players take early steps on what could be a highly successful path.
Wimbledon 2017’s Second Week Schedule
Onto the second week, the second Monday will start from 11 am on outside courts, with other matches held from 11.30am and 1pm across the Centre Court and No.1 Courts. Matches to be played are the gentlemen’s singles fourth round, ladies’ singles fourth round, gentlemen’s doubles third round, ladies’ doubles third round, mixed doubles first round, and boys’ and girls’ singles first round. Again, another very important day for both the juniors and the doubles. With the fourth rounds starting for the singles players, the championship title will be starting to appear closer and closer, adding to the pressure they will no doubt have already placed on themselves.
On the second Tuesday, junior matches will take place on the outside courts from 11am, while the rest will occur from 11.30am and 1pm on Centre Court and No.1 Courts. Play will see ladies’ singles quarter-finals, gentlemen’s doubles quarter-finals, ladies’ doubles quarter-finals, mixed doubles second round, boys’ and girls’ singles second round, boys’ and girls’ doubles first round, and invitation doubles.
As we reach the second Wednesday in Wimbledon 2017, we can expect to see juniors playing on the outside courts from 11am, while the rest of the matches will be held from 11.30am and 1pm on Centre Court and No.1 Courts. We can expect to see the gentlemen’s singles quarter-finals, the ladies’ doubles semi-finals, the mixed doubles second round, boys’ and girls’ singles third round, and the boys’ and girls’ doubles second round.
The second Thursday of the event will include juniors and wheelchair matches, from 11am on the outside courts, with the other matches held from 11.30am and 1pm on Centre Court and No.1 Courts. These will be the ladies’ singles semi-finals, gentlemen’s doubles semi-finals, mixed doubles third round, wheelchair gentlemen’s and ladies’ singles quarter-finals, boys’ and girls’ singles quarterfinals, boys’ and girls’ doubles third round, and invitation doubles.
The second Friday will see more junior and wheelchair events held from 11am on the outside courts, and all other matches taking place from 11.30am and 1pm, again on Centre Court and No.1 Courts. The crucial gentlemen’s singles semi-finals, gentlemen’s doubles semi-finals, mixed doubles quarter-finals, wheelchair gentlemen’s and ladies’ singles semi-finals, wheelchair gentlemen’s and ladies’ doubles semi-finals, boys’ and girls’ singles semi-finals, boys’ and girls’ doubles quarterfinals, and the invitation doubles. This is certainly a big day in the event.
Things begin to wind down on the second Saturday, with wheelchair and junior events beginning at 11am on the outside courts and other matches taking place from 11.30am and 1pm, across Centre Court and No1. Courts. The ladies’ singles final will begin at 2pm. The gentlemen’s doubles final, girls’ singles final, wheelchair ladies’ singles final, wheelchair gentlemen’s doubles final, and the mixed doubles semi-finals will all take place. This is usually a great day to celebrate the diversity of abilities at Wimbledon, and praise the way in which so many individuals push themselves to pursue their dreams.
On Wimbledon’s 2017’s second Sunday, junior and wheelchair events start from 11am on the outside courts, while the rest of the matches will take place from 11.30am and 2pm on Centre Court and No.1 Courts, with the gentlemen’s singles final starting at 2pm. This is usually one of the most eagerly-awaited finals, and can run on for several hours. Other matches include the mixed doubles final, the wheelchair gentlemen’s singles final, wheelchair ladies’ doubles final, boys’ singles final, boys’ doubles final, girls’ doubles final, and the invitation doubles finals.
That is the complete schedule so far. However, please bear in mind that certain matches may be subject to change, and could well be moved from one day to another. For anyone looking to get prepared to place bets and to follow their favourite events, this schedule should be a huge help.
Anybody looking to attend the tournament in person should look into the Wimbledon tickets ballot which has become a tradition. The cost of travel and entry will be worth it, of course – just be sure to get a souvenir or two from the Wimbledon shop!
The More Things Change …
Certain major changes will be introduced in Wimbledon 2017, with the Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) announcing that changes have been made to improve Britain’s grass court season in the run-up to the annual event.
To start with, men’s and women’s professional tennis will be held together at Eastbourne and Nottingham, and the prize money during the ATP Challenger and ITF Women’s Pro Circuit Events (which take place before Wimbledon in Surbiton, Manchester and Ilkley) has been doubled. The amount of money being invested at this level before a Grand Slam event will therefore be a record-breaker, which is exciting news and only goes to show how strong the world of tennis continues to become.
For any fans looking to investigate which bets they may like to place during Wimbledon 2017, Wimbledon odds have already been listed for players. These make for interesting reading, regardless of your favourites. These are liable to change over the coming months, however, and should any players drop out or experience injuries during other events, the Wimbledon odds will definitely be altered. For the time being, however, it’s worth your while to take a good, long look at the favourites to win.