10 Reasons Why Wimbledon Is The Classiest Tournament In Sports

Centre Court Wimbledon

Photo: Albert Lee/Wikimedia Commons

Wimbledon, the classiest tournament in sports, starts today.

The tournament is the epitome of tennis. The traditions are everywhere, and matches at the All England Club just feel different than everywhere else. It might be because it’s the only grand slam tournament held in Britain, or because it’s the only grand slam championship held on a grass court.

To get a primer of the happenings at Wimbledon, take a look the reasons why this tennis tournament stands out from the rest.

Reason 1: The rules of the tournaments are mostly unchanged from their 1877 creation

The Championships at Wimbledon used to be known as the 'Lawn Tennis Championships' at 'The All England Croquet And Lawn Tennis Club.' Those name changes, the height of the nets. and the allowed use of new and modern rackets are the three biggest changes made to the rules since the 19th century.

Reason 2: The players are required to wear white.

All players that step on to the courts must wear white. Pretty much everything has to be white. Slight alterations and trims are allowed, but white must be the dominant colour.

Reason 3: The ball boys and girls are hired through a rigorous process

The ball boys and girls at Wimbledon are known as BBGs, and are prohibited from being seen. It's impossible to be completely hidden on the court, but the BBGs will duck low next to the nets, or have to blend into the back wall.

The kids that nominate to perform as BBGs are hand picked by heads of various London area schools. To be selected as a ball boy or girl, the students must pass various intelligence and fitness tests. The kids get paid for their service, and each one has an equal shot to be on the court for the final.

Reason 4: The is a section reserved for members of the Royal Family

One side of the court has a large section of seating received for members of the British Royal Family. It used to be tradition that the players had to bow or curtsy when any member of the Family is seated down in the area, but now, players only have to bow or curtsy when the Queen is present.

Reason 5: Radio Wimbledon is one of the most well run sports radio programs in the world

Wimbledon is home to the most in-depth sports talk coverage in the entire world. If you don't believe that statement, check out Wimbledon.org and listen to Radio Wimbledon from 8am to 10pm (Greenwich Mean Time) during the tournament.

The actual transmission range for Radio Wimbledon is only five miles within the grounds of the tournament. Since Radio Wimbledon started streaming, the popularity of the programming has increased dramatically.

Reason Six: It is mandated by the British Government to broadcast the Wimbledon final on television.

At least one of the four major channels of Britain (BBC, ITC Channel 4, Channel 5) has to broadcast the Wimbledon Finals for free in its entirety every single year.

Reason Number Seven: Wimbledon is the only tennis tournament that allows people to buy tickets on the day of the match.

Most of the tickets to the tournament are allocated to a public lottery that people can enter. A large amount of people enter their name into this lottery, and only a lucky few are selected to buy tickets to whatever matches they want. Luckily, there is another way to see a match at the All England Club.

For every single day of the tournament, club organisers set aside five-hundred seats at each court for people waiting on queue at the All England Club. Wimbledon is the only grand slam tournament that offers walk-up seating on the day of a match.

On a first-come,first-served basis, the people that come to wait in line are given a card to indicate what place in the line they are in. However, for anyone to get a high numbered card, they have to show up on the day before the match they want to see. Yes, that means they stay overnight. A lot of avid tennis fans ignore the public lottery entirely since staying overnight at Wimbledon has become a big part of the tournament all in itself.

Reason Number Eight: No advertisements on the court

Unlike practically every other sports venue in the world, Wimbledon has absolutely no advertisements on the walls of the playing field. The scoreboard has a Rolex label in the middle of it, but that's the only advertisement there.

Reason number nine: They are no longer sexist

Up until 2009, all female players at Wimbledon were potentially referred to differently on the scoreboard. If someone in the women's draw were married, they would be referred to by their husband's name. For example, if Steffi Graf were married to Andre Agassi when she played at Wimbledon, she would have been called Mrs. Andre Agassi. That has since changed, and everyone is referred to by their full name.

Reason 10: Breakfast at Wimbledon means strawberries and cream

It doesn't get any better than this, now does it?

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