Wimbledon 2012: The world cup of tennis
All tennis lovers eagerly await Wimbledon Tennis Championship every year. The tournament is the most prestigious and oldest event in tennis history. Its traditions of all white clothing, grass courts, serving of strawberries and cream and support/patronage of English royalty have made it the top-rated tennis event.
The 126th Wimbledon Tennis Championship starts in London, England, from 25 June 2012. This two-week event has been held continuously since 1877, except during World War I and World War II, and starts on the first Monday between June 20 and June 26 each year.
This knockout competition is considered the most prestigious among all the four Grand Slam tennis events (the other three being Australian Open, French Open and US Open). It is also the only Grand Slam competition that is held on grass, the game’s original surface, which gave the game the name of lawn tennis.
The game of tennis was devised and played at the Wimbledon courts (at All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club) in 1876, by Major Walter Clopton Wingfield. Initially, there was only Men’s Singles event, but subsequently, other events were included. Until 1967, the tournament only featured amateur players. Prize money was first awarded in 1968, the first year that professional players took part in tournament. Since then Pete Sampras has won the most Men’s Singles titles (seven) with Roger Federer winning it six times. Martina Navratilova has won nine Ladies Singles titles and holds the record for
most Wimbledon titles in the Singles’ event.
This year the tournament features the following five major events: Men’s Singles, Ladies Singles, Men’s Doubles, Ladies Doubles and mixed Doubles.
Apart from that, there are four junior events and five invitational events. The tournament is held on knockout basis and the prize money for winning the men’s and women’s singles championship is £1,100,000, while the runners up get £550,000 and semi-finalists £275,000.
Top-ranked players automatically get entry into Wimbledon due to their high seeding, while some players qualify through a qualification tournament held about two weeks prior to Wimbledon. Some unseeded players are awarded wild card entry based on their past performance or tennis skill level or the public interest they generate.
Men’s Singles Championship: World Number 3 Roger Federer will be gunning for his seventh title to equal the all-time record for Men’s Singles event, but his last Grand Slam win came in 2010, at the Australian Open. These eight Grand Slams have been shared by Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic. But still one cannot underestimate a great champion like him holding 16 Grand Slam titles to his credit. World No 1 and defending champion Novak Djokovic is in top form, winning four out of the last five Grand Slams and has five Grand Slam titles under his belt and this year’s favourite too.
World No 2 Rafael Nadal, with Grand Slam titles, is close behind him as the challenger. With his fashion statements and killer looks, Nadal is very much the crowd’s favourite. Let us see who, among these three, comes on the top in this year’s Wimbledon.
Women’s Singles: Women’s tennis events are more closely contested than men’s tennis events. There tends to be, for each female player, a specialty for the type of surface a tennis tournament is played on. So when it comes to a Singles women tennis events, there are separate favourites for hard court events (like US Open and Australian Open), clay court events (like French Open) and grass court events.
Considering her record on grass courts and particularly at Wimbledon, World No 6 Serena Williams is the favourite at Wimbledon this year. She has won 13 Grand Slam titles, including four Wimbledon titles.
Victoria Azarenka, World Number 1, from Belarus, is the second favourite to win the title. She has won the Australian Open and was the semi-finalist here last year. She is followed by defending Wimbledon Champion and World Number 4 Petra Kvitova of Czech Republic, and World Number 2 Maria Sharapova (three Grand Slam titles) of Russia, in the favourites’ list.
Let the best player win….