The oldest and most prestigious tennis tournament in the world, the Lawn Tennis Championships at Wimbledon are held for 13 days each summer, beginning six weeks before the first Monday in August, on the manicured courts of the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club. The first competition in 1877 was supposedly an attempt to raise money to purchase a new roller for the croquet lawns, and it featured only the men's singles event. Today the world's best tennis players compete for both singles and doubles titles that are the most coveted in tennis. The event is watched on television by tennis fans all over the world, many of whom get up at dawn or conduct all-night vigils around their television sets so as not to miss a single match. Members of the English royal family often watch the finals from the Royal Box.
The Centre Court at Wimbledon, where the championships are held, is off-limits to members and everyone except the grounds staff. On the Saturday before the competition begins, four women members of the club play two or three sets to “bruise” the grass and make sure the courts are in good shape.
All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, Church Rd. Wimbledon
London SW19 5AE United Kingdom
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