Welcome to Tennis & Travels, a new column that applauds the readers who do decide to combine business with pleasure. Because life is short, and you should travel and play tennis—maybe even do both at once.
What makes Wimbledon the Cathedral of tennis?
Spend a little time around tennis, and you’ll surely understand the true meaning of Wimbledon.
We’re not even saying that it takes so long, just a few weeks or months, and you’re bound to see it, to understand it: Wimbledon, played every year at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, is a pretty big deal.
Spend a little time playing, or even just following the sport, and you’ll see it. Every other tournament is not quite comparable—but Wimbledon is The Championships.
As one of the world’s four Grand Slam events as well as the oldest tournament, Wimbledon is the Cathedral of tennis; it is the guardian of the sport’s biggest secrets and cherished traditions, the last stop on the pilgrimage of most champions of the present and near past on their quest to tennis’s firmament.
And thanks to the team at Grand Slam Tennis Tours, the very best in the business we might add, Wimbledon could be a stop on your own journey as tennis fans. While we’ve highlighted the different packages offered to you last time, today we’ll give you the skinny on what makes Wimbledon what it is.
Namely, why did Novak Djokovic feel compelled to taste the grass of the Wimbledon Center Court after his first victory there (before it turned into the cliched reaction it has become)? Why did it mean so much to him?
Winning Wimbledon is a way to etch one’s name in the history books. Part of the reason how and why Pete Sampras became one of the greatest champions ever was by developing a game that was tailor-made for The Championships; Roger Federer overtook for very much the same reason and is so universally beloved because the Wimbledon crowd loves him. It’s not just them either: part of why we’ll always remember Andy Murray is for reminding all of the United Kingdom that dreams can come true. Meanwhile, until he won his first Wimbledon title, Rafael Nadal was widely know as the King of Clay.
All of which is to say: Win Wimbledon, and tennis will love you—if you win properly, of course. Win and celebrate in a way that flies in the face of Wimbledon’s traditions and, well, the place will let you hear it.
Because at Wimbledon, there are traditions that one ought to honour and respect. No one is bigger than the sport at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, and that goes for the many courts of the site. At Wimbledon, Center Court is called just that, Court No. 1 is Court No. 1, and so on; anything else would be overly complicated and silly, right?
At Wimbledon, you play on grass, because it’s on grass that tennis was first played. Never mind that the Wimbledon grass has been slowed down quite a bit over the years; grass is grass, and grass is always greener, so to speak.
There are no visible sponsors on Wimbledon courts, because you shouldn’t take away from the players. Speaking of, players aren’t players at The Championships; they’re gentlemen and ladies. They dress in all-white for their matches because that’s what gentlemen and ladies wear; plus, whichever royalty member for any given match probably agrees with this dress code.
These are all traditions that you can see first hand for yourself if you choose to travel to Wimbledon with Grand Slam Tennis Tours. And we forget the best and tastiest among them: strawberries and cream, which you can order on-site.
Follow Charles Blouin-Gascon on Twitter @RealCBG