Players clad in white outfits play on green grass. Queens and princes are among the spectators, applauding for the gentlemen and ladies competing on the courts. It is the most important tennis tournament in the world, and for the next few weeks all eyes will be on The Championships at Wimbledon.
History: Wimbledon, located just outside of London, is the oldest major tennis tournament in the world. The All England Club has hosted the tournament every summer since 1877. When it started, only men were allowed to play, but the women's competition was added in 1884. At Wimbledon, male competitors are referred to as Gentlemen and women as Ladies. The biggest events are the Gentlemen's and Ladies' Singles championships.
Grass Courts: What makes Wimbledon unique - and special - is that it's the only major tournament played on grass courts. Although tennis was originally played on grass, the courts are very rare. Most tennis courts in your neighborhood are probably hard courts. Grass courts make the ball move slower then it does on hard or clay courts. Therefore, players try to hit the ball harder. Players with the most powerful strokes, like Venus Williams and Roger Federer, are usually the best players on grass.
Uniforms: While tennis players don't wear uniforms, Wimbledon does require competitors to wear all white. This is another feature that distinguishes Wimbledon from other tennis tournaments. The all-white clothing is a way for the All England Club to connect with its history. When tennis first became popular over 100 years ago, players always wore white clothing. Wimbledon is the last tournament that holds on to that tradition.
Royalty: Wimbledon is so important that members of England's Royal Family will come and watch. Many times, the players will bow to royalty as they enter and leave the court.
Wimbledon gives fans a chance to remember how tennis was played in the past. From the players' white clothing to the grass courts, the tournament is made up of traditions that have been around for more than 100 years.
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