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Wimbledon, Lawn Tennis Club
Since 1877, an awful lot of balls have been hit here.
The Championships, Wimbledon, or simply Wimbledon, is the oldest tennis tournament in the world, considered by many to be the most prestigious.
From 20 June to 3 July in 2011, the All England Club in Wimbledon will host the championships, something it has been doing since 1877.
It is one of the four Grand Slam tennis tournaments, the other three Majors being the Australian Open, French Open and US Open. Wimbledon is the only Major still played on the game's original surface, grass, which gave the game of lawn tennis its name.
Wimbledon traditions include a strict dress code for competitors, the eating of strawberries and cream, and Royal patronage. The tournament is also notable for the absence of sponsor advertising around the courts. In 2009, Wimbledon's Centre Court was fitted with a retractable roof to prevent rain delaying and interrupting Centre Court matches during the tournament.
The nineteen courts used for Wimbledon are composed purely of ryegrass.
The All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club is a private club founded in 1868, originally as 'The All England Croquet Club'. Its first ground was situated off Worple Road, Wimbledon.
In 1875, lawn tennis, a game devised by Major Walter Clopton Wingfield a year or so earlier and originally called 'Sphairistike', was added to the activities of the club.
The only event held in 1877 was the Gentlemen's Singles, which was won by Spencer Gore, an old Harrovian rackets player, from a field of 22. About 200 spectators paid one shilling each to watch the final.