IT’S 143RD ANNIVERSARY OF WIMBLEDON TENNIS CHAMPIONSHIP

BY KUNLE SOLAJA.

On this date, 9 July 1877, the first ever Wimbledon tennis championship began. The tournament, which is now 143 years old, began as the first official tennis tournament. At the time it was men’s singles only.

It has held annually except the four-year period of World War I and six years of World War II. It championship is not holding this year making it the first time it is cancelled in a peace time period.

Wimbledon is one of the four Grand Slam tennis tournaments, the others being the Australian Open, the French Open and the US Open.

Even though not holding this year, this oldest tennis tournament is regarded as the most prestigious and is held at the All England Club in Wimbledon, London. It is played outdoor on grass courts.

It traditionally has a strict all-white dress code for competitors.  With the exception of Rolex, which provides time-keeping technology during the matches, the tournament does not allow sponsors’ advertising around the courts.

The Wimbledon which traditionally holds over two weeks in late June and early July, starting on the last Monday in June and ending Sunday of the second week, is the only major tournament still played on grass. Owing to weather concerns, since 2009 edition, a retractable roof has been constructed over the centre court.