Summer is in full swing in London. That can only mean one thing. Wimbledon is well underway, with the mighty Federer Express marching through the draw in his bid for his (YES!!!) record ninth singles title. And the likes of Nadal, Djokovic, Nishikori and others are gunning to stop his march, while a host of unheralded newcomers are looking to spoil everyone’s party.
Wimbledon is the world’s oldest tennis tournament, with a history that goes back to 1877 and traditions and facts, some of which may amaze you. Back then, it used to cost just one shilling to watch the final and Spencer Gore received 12 guineas for his triumph. Many fairytales have taken shape and players have elevated their level to achieve their dream of reaching the pinnacle of glory.
Wimbledon has always had strong associations with royalty. Earlier, players used to bow to the Royal Box, even if no member of the Royal family was present. That requirement, however, was scrapped in 2003; now, the courtesy is mandatory only if the Queen or the Prince of Wales is in attendance.
Wimbledon upholds a very strong dress code with all white being the colour of choice. It is up to the Umpire’s discretion to send a player to change if it needs to be. Eight-time Grand Slam champion Andre Agassi refused to compete at Wimbledon between 1988 and 1990 due to the restrictions imposed on dress code, and called the atmosphere ‘stuffy’.
As the tournament sees some high-profile celebrities in attendance, there’s a special somebody in charge of security. Thanks to Rufus the Hawk, the pigeons stay away as he encircles the sky each morning. Rufus has had the job title of ‘Bird Scarer’ for 15 years now. He has even become a bit of a social media celebrity and boasts more than 10,000 followers on Twitter.
Five bombs hit the Centre Court at the All England Club, destroying 1,200 seats, during World War II. The area was brought back to its former glory by the officials in 1949.
Wimbledon is synonymous with strawberries and cream. 166,055 portions of strawberries and cream were dished out for the spectators and players last year. All the fruit comes from one farm in Kent. To ensure the utmost freshness, strawberries are picked every morning before dawn to be enjoyed by guests on the same day.
As the only Grand Slam championship played on grass, Wimbledon takes a rest day in the middle of the tournament. Why? To let the grass recover! And during the event, the grass is cut to a height of exactly 8 mm.
Keep your eyes on the ball! Taylor Dent once clocked 148 mph while serving to Djokovic in 2010. Loud and proud, Maria Sharapova has recorded the loudest grunts on court— a deafening 101.2 decibels!
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Jean Borota won his first Wimbledon championship in 1924. In which event did he compete 40 years later?
During a rainy delay on Centre Court in 1996, he was in the spectator and decided to raise spirits by delivering an impromptu to the crowd. He appropriately chose Singing in the Rain, sung with the help of an unlikely choir made up of stars like Martina Navratilova, Virginia Wade and Pam Shriver. Name this sensation.
Sir Cliff Richard
Known also for his blazing rows with various umpires, including his “Man, you cannot be serious”, he went on to win 77 singles and 78 doubles titles, which remains the highest men’s combined total of theOpen Era. Name him.
Peter Beardsley, Peter Reid, Terry Butcher, Terry Fenwick, Peter Shilton, Butcher again — which one Football player connects these five Englishmen?
Maradona. The players that he skipped past to score the Goal of the Century in 1986
Neil Armstrong originally wanted to take a football to the moon, but he couldn’t. Why?
Because Nasa deemed it to be un-American.
Which well-known book starts with, “I was having lunch with my navy colleagues when the incredible news of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima arrived. The information was sketchy—we were not even told. … But as a technical officer just out of the college with a degree in physics, I understood what the bomb was and what it meant to Japan, and to me”?
Made in Japan by Akio Morita
What is Dr. John Pemberton’s claim to fame as far as beverage industry is concerned?
Invention of Coca Cola.
Name the foundation which, according to Guinness World Records, is the largest volunteer ambulance network in the world.
Pakistan-based Edhi Foundation, founded by Abdul Sattar Edhi.
The girl below was born in Darjeeling (India). As an actress, she achieved film immortality by playing two of American literature’s most celebrated belles, Scarlett O’Hara in Gone With the Wind and Blanche DuBois in A Streetcar named Desire. She won Academy Awards for both these roles. Name her.
(Answer next week. Answer to last week’s photoquiz: It was the 1st ever legal TV commercial ad)
FACT: Wimbledon, world’s oldest tennis tournament with a history that goes back to 1877, upholds a very strong dress code with all white being the colour of choice.
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