The Wimbledon Championships or simply Wimbledon is the oldest and the most prestigious tennis tournament in the world. It is one of the four Grand Slam tennis tournaments, the only one still played on grass. The tournament takes place over two weeks in late June and early July at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club in Wimbledon, London. Wimbledon is scheduled for 13 days, beginning on a Monday and ending on a Sunday with the middle Sunday a designated rest day.
Wimbledon is the only Grand Slam event played on grass courts. In the past other two Grand Slam events were played on grass but the US Open abandoned grass in 1975 and the Australian Open in 1988. There was a change in courts in 2001, 100% perennial rye grass is used since that year. The change was made to improve durability and to better withstand the increasing wear of the modern game. This made the tennis courts at the All England Club in Wimbledon slower and the serve and volley tactic less effective than in previous years.
Due to the high possibility of rain during Wimbledon, a retractable roof was installed on Centre Court prior to the 2009 Wimbledon Championships. The roof protects play from inclement weather during the Championships and can be closed in about 10 minutes.
Wimbledon traditions include a strict dress code for all competitors, the eating of strawberries and cream by the spectators, and Royal patronage. The tournament is also known for the absence of sponsor advertising around the courts. All tennis players participating in the tournament are required to wear all-white or at least almost all-white clothing, wearing white clothing with some colour accents is also acceptable.
This all makes The Wimbledon Championships a truly special event in tennis calendar.
The Committee of Management and the Referee awards players without a high enough ranking with the Wimbledon main draw wild cards. The only wild card to win the Championships was Goran Ivanisevic back in 2001. The Committee also seeds the top players and can opt to change the seedings based on a player's previous grass court performance.
There have been several outstanding grass court players in the Open Era with Bjorn Borg, Boris Becker, Pete Sampras and Roger Federer being on the top of this list. American Pete Sampras with seven Wimbledon titles and Roger Federer with six are considered to be the greatest grass court players of all time. Among womens we have to mention Billie Jean King, Martina Navratilova, Steffi Graf and Venus and Serena Williams as some of the most successful grass court players. But the list could be much longer than this.