Tennis fan or not, there’s no escaping the buzz that surrounds the Wimbledon fortnight every year. Suddenly, the whole country is glued to their television screens at previously unseemly times in the afternoon, the soft thwack-thwack of tennis balls on grass the communal backing track to offices and homes across the land. And it’s not just on-screen that the action takes place: off-screen, dusty racquets are brushed off, children are booted from local tennis courts and everyone has a go at showing off their best Federer backhand.
More than anything, Wimbledon is a key cultural moment in the shared British psyche, as important as a World Cup, say, or (like it or not) a royal wedding. What’s more, although it’s constrained to a few small hectares of SW19, it’s as momentous as any of these occasions in terms of its history and sheer impact. And the most fascinating thing about Wimbledon? It has to be the numbers, from the amount of strawberries and cream consumed each year, to the many millions of prize money up for grabs.
Hour, the amount of time Rufus the hawk flies each morning, to dissuade pigeons from roosting in the grounds.
1 pound, 1 shilling
The entrance fee for competitors at the first ever Wimbledon lawn tennis championships in 1877.
Millimetres, the length of grass required on each Wimbledon court.
Hours, the longest match ever played. It took place between John Isner and Nicolas Mahut in 2010, and was spread over three days. Mahut won with 502 points, opposed to Isner’s 478.
The age of the youngest player to ever qualify for Wimbledon, Cori “Coco” Gauff, who also beat her hero Venus Williams 6-4 6-4 in the first match of the tournament.
The number of grass courts played on during the Wimbledon tournament. There are also 22 practice courts for competitors to warm up on.
The number of Grand Slam titles Serena Williams and Andy Murray share, as they take to the court together this year as doubles partners. Williams has an impressive 23, whereas Murray has three to bring to the table.
The age of the oldest singles player to ever play at Wimbledon, Croatian Ivo Karlovic, who is currently ranked 80 in the world.
Miles per hour, the fastest ever serve recorded at Wimbledon, by the USA’s Taylor Dent in 2010. Venus Williams holds the women’s record at 125mph.
The number of matches that take place over the Wimbledon fortnight.
The date the All England Croquet and Lawn Tennis Club held its first tournament in Wimbledon, an event that was originally for amateurs, but accepted professionals 90 years later, in 1967.
Kilograms of bananas eaten at Wimbledon by players every year.
Litres of cream are poured every year.
Seats on Centre Court.
Bottles of champagne opened at Wimbledon each year.
The number of tennis balls used across the Championships’ fortnight.
Portions of strawberries and cream are made.
Glasses of Pimms are served.
The prize for the winners of the men’s and women’s singles tournaments. Men and women have been awarded equal prize money at Wimbledon since 2007.
The total prize money shared across the tournament. This has more than doubled since 2012.