TIER: Grand Slams
PRIZE MONEY: $20,458,117 SURFACE: Grass
DIRECTOR: Richard Lewis
Wimbledon, also known as The Championships, is considered by many the world's most prestigious tournament. Launched in 1877, the event is held in late June and early July at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club in London and is the only major still played on grass - the game's original surface.
Other traditions include no matches on the middle Sunday, a strict player dress code, the eating of strawberries and cream, the absence of sponsor advertising around the courts and royal patronage.
Since 2001, Wimbledon's courts have been sown with 100% perennial ryegrass. The main show courts, Centre Court and Court 1, are normally used just during The Championships' fortnight, and the remaining 17 courts are used regularly for other events hosted by the club. To the delight of players, fans and media, a retractable roof was installed prior to the 2009 staging. The show courts were competed on an additional time in 2012, as the facility hosted the Summer Olympics tennis event three weeks after Wimbledon.
In another break from tradition, starting in 2015, The Championships will begin a week later on the calendar, allowing for three weeks instead of two between the end of the French Open and the start of Wimbledon.
WTA legend Martina Navratilova has the ladies tournament record with nine singles titles. She also has the Open Era record with seven doubles titles. On top of that, she has four mixed doubles crowns, giving her a remarkable 20 Wimbledon triumphs altogether. Others who have dominated the event in the Open Era include Steffi Graf with seven singles titles and Serena and Venus Williams, with five each.