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Published on June 29th, 2015 | by admin

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Anyone For Tennis?

The most eagerly anticipated event in the tennis calendar commences today as the world’s elite players converge on SW19 for the start of the Wimbledon Championships at the All England Club.

As the only Grand Slam tennis event played on grass, Wimbledon has long been seen as the most prestigious competition on the ATP circuit having first taken place way back in 1877. The total prize money up for grabs this year is £26.5m with the men’s and ladies’ champions each walking away with a cheque for £1.88m.

662 matches are scheduled over thirteen days and around half a million spectators are once again expected to attend The Championships to witness all the action across 19 grass courts with millions of viewers also tuning in to watch all the action from around the world.

Defending champions

Novak Djokovic will be defending his crown in the men’s singles competition with key rivals set to include seven time champion Roger Federer as well as British hope Andy Murray. Murray will be hoping to repeat both his 2013 men’s single title success at The Championships as well as his 2012 Olympic Gold won at SW19 as one of the Team GB Gold Medal Winners.

In the ladies’ singles event, Petra Kvitova will be defending her title after her comprehensive 6-3 6-0 success over Eugenie Bouchard in last year’s final on Centre Court.

Serving up two weeks of tennis drama

In recent years, one of the most memorable finals at the All England Club saw Rafael Nadal defeat Roger Federer in a thrilling five set match. The 2008 men’s singles final was decided 9-7 in the final set as Nadal became only the third player ever to win the French Open and Wimbledon back-to-back.

Even more recently than that, 2010 saw two relatively unknown competitors battle it out for THREE DAYS of the Championships on Court 18. The first round contest between John Isner and Nicolas Mahut turned out to be the longest Grand Slam match ever played. Isner eventually emerged victorious 70-68 in the fifth and final set!

Europe’s largest single annual sporting catering operation

The catering operation at The Championships serves up refreshments for spectators on a huge scale including 150,000 bottles of water, 230,000 glasses of Pimm’s and 190,000 sandwiches. Most synomonous as the traditional fayre enjoyed at Wimbledon are English Grade I Kent strawberries. A staggering 142,000 portions are expected to be served with 7,000 litres of fresh cream over the fortnight.

2015 also marks 80 years of Robinsons celebrating its partnership with Wimbledon. Extending all the way back to 1935, the soft drink producer seems certain to quench many a spectator thirst this year with a heat-wave this week coinciding with the start of The Championships.

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patrick.maddison@vowretail.com'



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