Wimbledon

The All England Club is the home of the third Tennis Grand Slam of the season, and the host of the most prestigious and decorated Tennis Championship in the sports history, The Wimbledon Tennis Championships. Simply recognised as Wimbledon, the tournament is the oldest tennis competition in the world, and dates back to 1877. Wimbledon is sandwiched between the French and US Open tournament's, and is typically staged in late June / early July over two weeks, on the outdoor grass surface, the only Grand Slam played on the natural grass surface.

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Wimbledon Betting

Wimbledon betting is one of the major markets of the year, as the sport is heavily televised across the world. Outright Wimbledon betting is available up to a year ahead of the tournament, for both the Men's and Women's tournaments. Coming off the back of the French Open, the tennis season is well under way when Wimbledon comes around in late June, player's should be hitting peak form, and when considering placing one of our free bets on a player to win at the All England Club, it's important to remember this is the only Grand Slam played on Grass, so tournaments such as Queens leading into Wimbledon can be important in gauging a players form and ability on the grass, as well as their performances in recent year's on the surface.

Aside from the outright winner markets, which undoubtedly are the most popular, online bookmakers now offer a variety of different Wimbledon betting markets for punters including:

  • Name the Finalists
  • The player To Reach the Final
  • Player to win the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th Quarter's
  • Winning Half of the draw

In addition, the traditional match betting markets are also available in Wimbledon betting. Markets such as Handicap betting, Set betting, Total Sets betting, Total Games, Points, Winning Margins and many more. For a full breakdown of the most popular betting markets in Tennis and Wimbledon betting, please feel free to take a look at our special Tennis Betting section, which also includes Tennis Terminology and the latest free bets on offer.

Wimbledon History

The storied history of the Wimbledon Championships dates back to 23rd July 1868 when the All England Croquet Club was founded, and in 1870 a pavilion was built and the ground was officially opened during the second annual Croquet Championships, it wasn't until 1875 that Lawn (Grass) Tennis was first played at the grounds. The first Championship's were held two years later, on 9th June 1877, the announcement was made that the first ever Lawn Tennis tournament would take place and was open to all amateur players. No women players were allowed to enter the competition, but 22 men arrived at the ground and paid their 1 shilling (£1) entrance fee, but had to bring along their own rackets, although balls were provided by the club. This tournament would forever more take over the clubs initial plans of the grounds being solely dedicated to croquet. The first ever Gentlemen's Singles final was watched by just 200 in attendance, and was won by an old Harrovian rackets player, Spencer Gore.

1884 marked a historical moment in the tournaments illustrious history, despite turning away requests from Women to participate in their own Ladies Singles event at the club for many of the early years, the club finally agreed, however the Ladies Championships were not allowed to start until the completion of the men's singles, which was seen as the club treating it as a “second-class” tournament. 13 participated in the first Wimbledon Women's Single's Championship, with the final contested between two sisters, Maud and Lilian Watson. It was the 19-year-old Maud Watson who won the final in three sets to be crowned the first Women's singles Champion, a feat she would repeat the following year, winning her second consecutive title in 1885.

Although a challenging and difficult feat to accomplish, we have become used to seeing dominant figures in the modern era of tennis, but the first player to show such authority on the court was Charlotte “Lottie” Dod, and it all began in 1887. Winning her first singles title at the age of 15 years and 285 days, still the youngest player to do so, Lottie went on to win a further four Wimbledon crowns (1888, 1891, 1892 and 1893).

Wimbledon HistorySuch dominance was also shown in the Men's side of the tournament, with the title of “founding father of tennis” given to William Renshaw who won seven Wimbledon singles titles, six of them consecutively, the first in 1881, followed by victories in 1882, 1883, 1884, 1885, 1886 and a two year gap until his last in 1889, although he didn't compete in the 1887 tournament. William's twin brother, Ernest Renshaw was also a fond tennis player, and won the singles title himself in 1888, along with five Wimbledon doubles title's he shared with his brother. The success shown by the Renshaw's on court was a driving attraction to Wimbledon and public following and appreciation for the sport grew massively in the years of their dominance. The Renshaw's weren’t the only brothers to dominate the early years of Wimbledon, Reggie and Laurie Doherty amassed nine Wimbledon singles titles between them over a 10 year period (1897-1906). Reginald won the first title in 1897 and went on to retain the title the following three years until losing in the final in 1901 to Arthur Gore. Lawrence Doherty picked up where his brother left off and went on a consecutive winning run of five Wimbledon Championship's, holding the title between 1902 and 1906. The brothers also met each other in the 1898 final in a five-set thriller, with Reginald coming out on top 6-1 in the final set.

By 1905, the Wimbledon Championship's were well-known internationally, and players from overseas would travel to England to participate in both the Men's and Women's tournaments. May Sutton of the United States won the Ladies' singles title in 1905, becoming the first player from overseas to win a Championship at Wimbledon. Two year's later, Sutton would win again at Wimbledon, which also coincided with the first overseas player to win the Men's singles crown, when Norman Brookes of Australia beat Arthur Gore of Great Britain in the final.

Wimbledon is the home of tennis in Britain, and has hosted the sporting spectacular that is the Olympic Games on three occasions, most recently in 2012. The first Olympic tennis tournament was held in 1908 and again in 1948. The 1908 tournament was unusually held over a six month period, with indoor and outdoor events either side of Wimbledon. Britain’s Josiah Richie won gold by beating Germany's Otto Froitzheim in the men's final, while the ladies event was also won by a Brit, with Dorothea Lambert Chambers winning gold.

Suzanne Lenglen is a name that's synonymous with women’s tennis at Wimbledon, and in 1920, the French-born Lenglen captured the treble at Wimbledon, winning the singles, doubles and mixed doubles championships. Lenglen repeated this exceptional accomplishment on a further two occasions, in 1922 and 1925. These glory years resulted in a winning record at Wimbledon which included six singles, six doubles and three mixed championships, winning 91 of her 94 matches at the venue.

In 1922, the club was forced to move grounds due to the high-demand from spectators, and on 26 June, King George V and Queen Mary officially opened the new Church Road home of tennis, which accommodated 13,500 spectators. The Wimbledon Championship's that year also brought about the end of the rule which stipulated the defending champion, (Bill Tilden and Suzanne Lenglen at the time) was not required to compete in a match until the winner of the rest of the main draw had been decided.

1924 saw a further extension to the facilities at Wimbledon, with a further court built to the west-side of the main stadium, and was dubbed the No.1 Court, and originally accommodated 3,250 spectators. The Court and it's stands were further extended throughout the years until it was replaced in 1996. The original court had a 72-year history, spanning 67 Wimbledon tournaments.

It was a truly Royal Wimbledon in 1926 as King George V and Queen Mary presented medals to the 34 surviving Wimbledon champions as part of the Jubilee Championships. The 1926 tournament is also remembered as the only time a member of the Royal Family has competed at Wimbledon, as the King and Queen's son, the Duke of York competed in the men's doubles with his partner Louis Greig. The pairing couldn't get past the team of Arthur Gore and H. Roper Barrett in the first-round, despite having youth on their side, they were beaten in straight sets by a pair who's combined age totalled 110 years.

The 1931 Wimbledon Championships are remembered as the only Wimbledon in history without a Men's singles final. The scheduled final between the American pair Sidney Wood and Frank Shields was called off, and Sydney Wood's was gifted the Wimbledon trophy following his opponent suffering an injury in his semi-final match, an injury he was unable to recover from.

Wimbledon History

Yet another name synonymous with Wimbledon and British Tennis is Fred Perry. 1936 marked the year this legendary icon of tennis secured his hat-trick of Wimbledon titles (1934,1935,1936), a quarter of a century after Britain’s previous Men's winner Arthur Gore in 1909.

On 26 August 1936 the following words spoken by presenter Leslie Mitchell were broadcast to the nation on BBC television for the first time: “It is with great pleasure that I introduce you to the magic of television.” The following spring the Championships were beamed to thousands within a 40-mile radius of the BBC transmitters in London, and coverage of the Wimbledon Tennis tournament on the BBC has never looked back since the first round match between Bunny Austin and George Rogers on 21 June 1937 was screened. The 1937 tournament also coincided with the extraordinary achievements of American Don Budge, winning the men's singles, doubles and mixed doubles in the same year. An achievement made even more extraordinary by him repeating this a year later, while also becoming the first ever to win the Grand Slam of all major men's singles titles, including the Wimbledon title without losing a single set.

World War II broke out in 1939, and as Wimbledon's close proximity to the heart of London, more than 1000 bombs fell on the borough, destroying tens of thousands of homes, with one hitting the Centre Court on 11 October 1940. The corner of the stand was lost and wasn't repaired until 1947, although the tournament was held again in 1946. Players ascend upon Wimbledon from 23 countries as players were picked on merit unlike other year's where qualifying tournaments were held. The first men's singles Champion since the start of war was Yvon Petra of France, while Pauline Betz of the United States took the Ladies Championship.

Maureen Connolly is another name steeped in tennis' history and tradition. Nicknamed 'Little Mo', Connolly became the youngest player to win the US title in 1951, and the following year began her reign as Wimbledon's Ladies Champion, winning three consecutive titles (1952,1953,1954), and also completed the Grand Slam of tennis, winning all the game's major titles. Her win at Wimbledon in 1954 would prove to be her last. She broke her leg in a riding accident that summer and never returned to the court.

Yet another Royal moment in Wimbledon's history came in 1957, as Queen Elizabeth visited the Centre Court for the first time to witness the Men's doubles final. The Queen has since returned to Wimbledon on three further occasions, in 1962, 1977 and most recently in 2010. The first year the Queen visited also coincided with Althea Gibson's first win at Wimbledon, becoming the ninth American Women to win the singles title at the tournament in succession. Gibson overcame racial pressures and troubles to become the first black player to win the title, and repeated her triumph a year later (1957) by beating fellow American Darlene Hard in straight sets in the final.

The 1964 Wimbledon is amusingly remembered for a line judge falling asleep during the progress of a first-round match on the opening day of the tournament. As had become customary, the umpires and judges held a start of Championships cocktail party and as play began, line judge Dorothy Cavis Brown fell asleep during a match on court 3 between Abe Segal and Clark Graebner. Segal stopped the match, walked across to Cavis Brown and tapped her on shoulder, before walking back to resume play.

Open era Wimbledon history continued below.

Wimbledon History – The Open Era

1968 marked the beginning of the Open era at Wimbledon, and for the first time, professional players from past years returned to the tournament, players such as Rod Laver, Pancho Segura, Lew Hoad, Andres Gimeno, Butch Buchholz, Ken Rosewall and of course, the iconic American Billie Jean King. Rod Laver won the first men's singles final of the open era, beating fellow American Tony Roche to win the crown and £2000 in prize money. Billie Jean King won the equivalent and collected her third Women's singles championship in a row.

Two year's after turning professional, the Wimbledon Women's singles final of 1970 between Margaret Court and Billie Jean King was broadcast in colour for the first time, and has gone down as one of the greatest Wimbledon finals of all-time. The Australian Court won in straight sets, 14-12, 11-9. Margaret Court made it back to the final a year later (1971) to defend her title against fellow Australian Evonne Goolagong, who at the time had only participated at Wimbledon once before, and it was the teenage Goolagong who came out on top, and capped a great tournament which included wins over Billie Jean King in previous rounds. The 1971 Wimbledon tournament also staged one of the longest matches in the competitions history, as Ken Rosewall and Cliff Ritchie battled out their quarter-final over three hours and 59 minutes before Rosewall finally secured his place in the semi-finals.

The 1972 Men's singles final was for the first time played out on a Sunday, as on Saturday (the original date for the final) was washed out due to rain. Stan Smith took on Llie Nastase, with the American Smith winning in five sets.

The 1973 Wimbledon was dogged by strike action, as 79 players, including 13 of the 16 original seeds for the tournament withdrew their labour in a dispute between the International Lawn Tennis Federation and the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP). The men's final was played out between Jan Kodes, twice winner of the French Open and Alex Metreveli, the first Russian to ever reach a Wimbledon Men's final. Unsurprisingly, the final was much of a non-contest, and Kodes won in straight sets.

Wimbledon HistoryThe main titles contested during the 1974 Wimbledon Championships were won by the engaged American couple Jimmy Connors and Chris Evert. Prior to the tournament, bookmakers offered betting on the “love double” winning at Wimbledon, with odds of 33/1 quoted.

The legendary career of Bjorn Borg at Wimbledon started in 1976, when at just 20 years and 17 days old, the Swede began his dominance of the sport by becoming the third youngest men's singles champion, the youngest since 1931. Borg beat the Romanian Nastase in straight sets to win the first of five consecutive Wimbledon Men's singles championships (1976, 1977, 1978, 1979, 1980). The right-handed Swede was elegant on the court, and is one of the greatest players the sport has ever seen, winning a total of 64 career tiles, including six wins at the French Open.

1977 saw the club celebrate it's Centenary Year, and with 100 years of historical moments to remember and immortalise, the club opened The Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Museum at the grounds, officially declared open by The Duke of Kent on 20th May 1977, and still to this day, is a major attraction for all tennis and Wimbledon enthusiasts. The Queen was in attendance at Wimbledon during the 1977 tournament as part of her Silver Jubilee celebrations, and it was fitting that the Queen presented British-born Virginia Wade with her first Ladies' Championship. Despite winning a US and Australian Open in her career, a Wimbledon title was missing for her collection, and at the age of 31, many thought her best chance of winning a coveted title at the home of British tennis had gone, however Wade surprised many by beating defending champion Chris Evert in the semi-finals, and then went on to beat the Dutch Betty Stove in straight sets in the final.

Bjorn Borg won his fourth consecutive men's title at Wimbledon in 1979, but it was Billie Jean King that stole the headlines, and rightly so. One of the best, if not the best female tennis players of all time, Billie Jean King secured her 20th Wimbledon title by partnering singles champion Martina Navratilova to win that year's doubles tournament. The iconic King's 20 Wimbledon championships consist of six singles titles, 10 doubles and four mixed doubles titles. It was a truly special moment in a packed Centre Court.

“You cannot be serious”. The infamous words uttered by American John McEnroe in 1981 are immortalised in the sports history, and are still played back to this day. McEnroe was up against Tom Gullikson, and when his serve was called out by the match umpire, John's screams of “you cannot be serious” were heard around Wimbledon, to the traditionalists shock. McEnroe would go on to beat Gillikson and claim the Men's singles crown by beating his rival Bjorn Borg in the final.

1984 marked the 50th anniversary of Fred Perry's first ever Men's singles Championship win at Wimbledon, and in honour of the great man, a statue was erected at the Church Road grounds.

The 1985 Wimbledon championships are remembered for one player, and as the year Wimbledon was introduced to the 17-year-old 'next big thing' Boris Becker. The German-born Becker arrived at Wimbledon ranked 20th in the world, but did win at the Queen's Club prior to the Wimbledon show-piece. Becker became the first unseeded player and first German winner of Wimbledon by defeating the South African Curren in the final. The German's love affair with Wimbledon continued and he went on to win a further two titles in 1986 and 1989. Becker's last match at Wimbledon came in 1999, and he ended with a record of 71 wins and just 12 losses at the All England Club.

The 1987 Men's singles final between Pat Cash and Ivan Lendl will be remembered as much for the celebration that followed the contest than the actual match itself. Cash became the 11th Australian to win Wimbledon by beating the then world number one in straight sets. Pat Cash's famous celebration of climbing the stands to the player's box to greet his family and coach is one of Wimbledon's iconic moments, and one that has been repeated by winning champions throughout the years.

The 19-year-old Steffi Graf stamped her claim as one of the best tennis stars of the Open era by winning the covered Grand Slam (Australian Open, French Open, Wimbledon and US Open), all in the same year, she also won a Gold Medal at the Olympic games.

In 1995, British hopeful Tim Henman and his doubles partner Jeremy Bates became the first players to be disqualified at Wimbledon. Henman, not happy with losing a vital point in the tie-break in the fourth set of their match, lashed out by hitting the ball he was holding, without knowing a ball girl was crossing the net at the same time. The unfortunate ball girl received the full force of the tennis ball in the head. The match referee stopped play and disqualified the British pair, and Henman, visibly upset, apologised in the post match press conference and to the ball girl personally later in the week.

Wimbledon HistoryThe 1996 Wimbledon Championships will be remembered for one moment, and it's not tennis related. Play was extensively interrupted by rain showers, and in one of the most famous scenes in Wimbledon history, Sir Cliff Richard took to the microphone, and delighted the soaked Centre Court crowd with his rendition of 'Singing in the Rain'. A year later, the British weather was playing havoc to the Wimbledon schedule once more, forcing two days of the 1997 Championships to be washed out, and for only the second time in history, the club took the decision to play on the middle Sunday, a day traditionally known as a 'rest day' for the tournament. The first time this happened in Wimbledon's storied history was back in 1991.

As part of the long-term development of the Wimbledon grounds, 1997 saw the opening of the new No.1 Court. Past Champions such as Rod Laver, John McEnroe, Boris Becker, Pete Sampras, Billie Jean King and Martina Navratilova all gathered at the opening ceremony to the new court, which seated 11,000 spectators, 4,500 more than the original court seated. 1997 also saw the introduction of Martina Hingis at Wimbledon. At the age of just 16, Hingis defeated Jana Novotna in the final to because the youngest Wimbledon singles Champion since 1887.

History was made in 2000, as Pete Sampras won his 17th Wimbledon title, and record-breaking 13th Grand Slam trophy. This was to be Sampras' last crowning moment at his beloved Wimbledon, as three years later, when winning his 14th Grand Slam title at the US Open, the tennis legend called time on a tremendous career. Not before facing and losing out to little-known Roger Federer at Wimbledon in 2001. Nobody knew at the time, but we were watching two of the greatest players to ever pick up a tennis racket. When Sampras ended his career, he had amassed 64 titles, which consisted of two Australian Open's (1994, 1997), Seven Wimbledon titles (1993, 1994, 1995, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000) and five US Open crowns (1990, 1993, 1995, 1996, 2002), and who will forget his legendary storied rivalry with Andre Agassi.

In 2003, Martina Navratilova equalled the Championships record of Billie Jean King by winning her 20th Wimbledon title, by winning the mixed doubles of that year with partner Leander Paes. Another female Champion that introduced herself onto the Wimbledon scene was Maria Sharapova, who at the age of just 17, arrived at SW19 in 2004, seeded number 13 at the Championships, but left with the Women's singles crown, beating the great Serena Williams in straight sets in the final. At the time, the Williams' sisters were dominating Wimbledon, with Venus winning the singles title in 2000 and 2001, while Serena was the 2002 and 2003 Champion.

Somewhat of a changing of the guard in 2006 at Wimbledon. If Federer was taking over from Sampras, it was left for a 17-year-old Rafael Nadal to take the torch from the iconic figure of Andre Agassi, as the American played his last match at Wimbledon. One of the game's most naturally talented players, the charismatic Agassi won 60 titles in his career, winning four Australian Open's (1995, 2000, 2001 and 2003) One French Open title in 1999, a Wimbledon triumph in 1992, two US Open's (1994,1999) and an Olympic Gold Medal in 1996.

2007 was a defining year in the long history of Wimbledon. Hawk-eye was introduced to the Centre and No.1 courts, and for the first time, prize money was equally shared between Men's singles and Women's singles Champions, with Roger Federer and Venus Williams collecting £700,000 each for their successes that tear.

A year later (2008), that man again, Roger Federer was involved in what has been called by many as the greatest Final in Wimbledon history. A match full of roller-coaster emotions, displays of incredible nerve and athleticism, the Swiss' match with Rafael Nadal had everything. A match that words can do little justice, a five set encounter that included swings of momentum and emotion, along with two tie-breaks, finally resulting in the Spaniard breaking the heart of Federer, and lifting the Golden Wimbledon trophy at 9.15pm. (6–4, 6–4, 6–7(5–7), 6–7(8–10), 9–7).

The 2009 Wimbledon Championships unveiled the new Centre Court roof, and the crowning of the greatest men's Champion of all time. Roger Federer beat the American Andy Roddick in yet another classic to win his sixth Wimbledon title after four hours and 16 minutes of play. The Swiss legend also overtook his idol Pete Sampras who was in attendance in the Royal Box by winning his 15th Grand Slam title and become the greatest of all-time.

There was another Royal moment in 2010 at the All England Club, as Her Majesty the Queen attended Wimbledon for the first time in 33 years. The 2010 Wimbledon Championship's are also remembered for the first-round epic match that just wouldn't end, between the American John Isner and Frenchman Nicolas Mahut. The match lasted over 11 hours of play, spanning across two days, becoming the longest match in history, with the tall John Isner finally coming out on top by wrapping up the fifth and final set at 70-68. Extraordinary. (4-6, 6-3, 7-6(7) 6-7(3), 70-68).

Recent years have seen Novak Djokovic begin to dominate with three wins in the last five championships however Andy Murray made history with his victory in 2013. Murray bounced back from his defeat to Roger Federer in the final the year before as he became the first British man to win the Wimbledon singles title since Fred Perry in 1936.

The heritage and historic traditions of the Wimbledon tournament are still followed to this day, including strict dress and attire guidelines for all competitors, and elegant and stylish dress codes for umpires, match officials and ball-boys / girls. The two main features of every Wimbledon tournament is the Gentleman's and Ladies Singles Championships, scheduled to close each year's event on the second Saturday and Sunday respectively. The two-week tournament also features the Gentleman's and Ladies Doubles, Mixed Doubles, Boy's and Girls (Junior) Singles, Doubles, Mixed Doubles and Gentleman's and Ladies Wheelchair Doubles Championship's.

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