Midsummer in Wimbledon, London can only mean one thing – the world’s most famous tennis championships, no less. As businesses in Wimbledon Village and town centre spruce up their shopfront’s with tennis-themed decorations, there’s plenty to look forward to. Read on for our preview of what to expect at the All England Club this July.
The Championships, Wimbledon runs from 1 to 14 July 2019.
The world’s oldest, and arguable best-known tennis tournament, the championships have been played at Wimbledon’s All England Club since 1877.
Wimbledon is one of the four grand slam tennis tournaments, alongside the Australian Open, French Open and US Open, and the only one played on grass.
The day-to-day operations of the championships are led and conducted by the All England Lawn Tennis Club (AELTC), a wholly-owned subsidiary of the All England Lawn Tennis & Croquet Club Limited. The AELTC is also known as the All England Club.
Will Andy Murray play at Wimbledon this year?
At the time of writing, we’re still waiting to hear whether Andy Murray will take part. The two-times champion underwent a hip operation in January but has since declared himself ‘pain free’ and said he will play if his body allows.
Murray has until 18 June to enter the championships as an unseeded ‘wild card’, meaning he can keep his official ranking for a future competition.
If he is unable to confirm entry by the June date, there may be some leeway. The AELTC told the BBC that, while the wildcard deadline is approaching, “it’s not unprecedented for us to allow players a bit more time to see whether an existing injury clears up”.
Who’s tipped to win this year?
Could this be the year Roger Federer clinches his ninth Wimbledon Championship win, adding to his 100 titles during a 19-year career? Commentators writing in the Daily Telegraph earlier this year certainly thought so.
Or will the world’s top-ranked player, Novak Djokovic repeat his 2018 success? Others to watch include Germany’s Alexander Zverev, tipped to be a future World No1.
Kevin Anderson and John Isner clocked-up the longest semi-finals game in Wimbledon history last year, so both could be worth watching.
In the women’s tournament, Serena Williams is currently the bookies’ favourite with commentators expecting a return to form. Her challengers could include big-serving Czech Karolina Pliskova and Petra Kvitova, back in the game after the horrific attack, which threatened her career in 2016.
Also worth a mention are 2017 winner, Spain’s Garbine Muguruza and Angelique Kerber, who beat Serena Williams in last year’s final.
New names to watch out for this year include 18-year-old Canadians, Felix Auger Aliassime and Bianca Andreescu as well as Britain’s 16-year-old Emma Radacanu.
All change for No1 Court
No 1 Court has a new roof, to rival that covering Centre Court. A total of 11, 100-tonne cranes were needed to install the roof, which was tested out in May at a charity event featuring John McEnroe and Paloma Faith.
At the same time as installing the roof, work has been taking place to increase the grounds’ capacity by 3,000 to 42,000.
Other changes include an earlier start time (11am) for play on the outside courts and increased use of Hawk-Eye technology for line calls.
The AELTC has announced an 11.8% increase in the prize money, with a total pot of £38m. The singles champions will each receive £2.35m, up from £2.25m last year, however, the biggest increases will go to players further down the table.
Players who go out in the first round will receive £45,000, and a 47% increase for wheelchair events has been announced.
Did you know?
Wimbledon has the largest catering operation of any sporting event in Europe employing 3,000 people. Strawberries and cream are almost synonymous with the championships – more than 166,000 portions of English strawberries are consumed on an average day during Wimbledon fortnight and more than 303,000 glasses of Pimms are likely to be drunk. For that necessary energy boost, the players will get through almost 2,200kg of bananas.
How to get tickets
Tickets are sold by ballot, which closed several months ago. Wimbledon, however, remains one of the very few major UK sporting events where you can still buy premium tickets on the day of play – but you’ll need to queue up. Thousands of grounds passes are also available daily, entitling you to use unreserved seating and standing room on courts No 3 to 18.
There are several hundred Centre Court and No3 Court tickets available for purchase online. These tickets are released daily – find out more.
If you don’t have tickets for 2019 and don’t fancy queuing, you’ll be able to watch matches in Wimbledon town centre, when the usual big screen and deck chairs will be out in the Piazza.
Or buy a grounds pass to watch from Murray Mound. The piece of land to the north of Centre Court, officially named Aorangi Terrace, has been the place to catch the action on the big screen since the 1990s, when fans watched Tim Henman’s persistent attempts to win the grand slam, earning it the name Henman Hill. With Andy Murray’s two Wimbledon wins, it became known as Murray Mound.
If you’re already thinking about the 2020 championships, the ticket ballot is set to go digital for next year. After 95 years of a postal ballot – fans needed to send in a stamped addressed envelope to receive an application form – the All England Club is moving to online applications. The new system won’t affect the queue for day tickets.
The Wimbledon Championships certainly create a buzz in Wimbledon village and around, so make sure you visit the area, even if you aren’t watching any tennis. To find out more about buying in the area, contact us to discuss our stunning choice of properties.