The oldest major tennis championship on earth, The Championships or Wimbledon has come to personify performances par excellence from the greats of the game. It was on the centre court of this cream of the crop tournament that greats like William Renshaw, Pete Sampras, Bjorn Borg, Helen Wills and Martina Navratilova have attained immortality.
The history of the tournament dates back to 1877. Spencer Gore won the first event, which was then the Gentlemen`s Singles, from a field of 22.
The names Bjorn Borg, Jimmy Connors, Rod Laver John McEnroe and Pete Sampras have one thing in common apart from being legends of the game. They were all Wimbledon’s conquerors.
The All England Lawn Tennis Club, the official hosts of the Grand Slam event have made sure that the pristine nature of the tournament remains unchanged, yet congregates the modern nature of the sport with the changing times. The introduction of ‘Wild Card’ entry to the championships was done with public interest in mind. Needless to say, it was the wild card Goran Ivanisevic who won the trophy in 2001 after being runner-up in 1992, 94 and 98. It was the Club’s far-sightedness that gave this player a chance at redemption.
The tournament introduced Ladies’ Singles in 1884 and this was a maverick change that brought in hoards of spectators to the courts.
Rod Laver was the first ever winner of the Gentlemen’s single of the Open Era and Billie Jean King of the women’s single in 1968.
Among the many noteworthy things that have been done for the game is its continuance even in the Second World War. It was a decision that was stern and the staff was short. Despite the odds, the sport of tennis emerged unscathed and added another chapter to the already glorious history.
Wimbledon is one of the four Grand Slam tennis tournaments – the other three Majors are the Australian Open, French Open and US Open. At present it includes five main events, four junior events and four invitation events.
A total of 128 players feature in each singles event, 64 pairs in each single-sex doubles event, and 48 pairs in Mixed Doubles.
The matches take place over 19 courts. Out of these, two main courts- Centre court and Court No.1 are mainly used for the Championship with the remaining ones used regularly for other events throughout the year.
Following are the list of Men’s and Women’s singles winners of past decade.
2000 -Pete Sampras
2001 -Goran Ivaniševic
2002 -Lleyton Hewitt
2003 -Roger Federer
2004 -Roger Federer
2005 -Roger Federer
2006 -Roger Federer
2007 -Roger Federer
2008 -Rafael Nadal
2009 -Roger Federer
2010 -Rafael Nadal
2000 -Venus Williams
2001 -Venus Williams
2002 -Serena Williams
2003 -Serena Williams
2004 -Maria Sharapova
2005 -Venus Williams
2006 -Amélie Mauresmo
2007 -Venus Williams
2008 - Venus Williams
2009 -Serena Williams
2010 - Serena Williams