The Championships, Wimbledon, or Wimbledon to casual and avid tennis fans alike, is the sport’s oldest tournament, having started in 1877. It is also considered the most important tournament of the tennis season, and since 1988, it’s the only Grand Slam tournament that’s still played on a grass court. And while one could consider the World Series a hallmark of the fall sports season and the NBA playoffs a transition from spring to summer, Wimbledon is arguably the biggest sporting event of the summer.
Wimbledon 2015 may have just wrapped up, and as you may know, Novak Djokovic won the Men’s Singles division, while Serena Williams emerged triumphant in Women’s Singles. Those are the basics, the things even those unacquainted with the sport of tennis may likely consider common knowledge. We shall now be talking about Wimbledon 2015’s unseen facts – tidbits about the tournament, the results, and the players themselves.
- Prize money for this year’s singles winners was set at £1,880,000, while total prize money went up to £26.75 million. This year’s total prize pot is 7 percent greater than last year’s total, while the prize for Men’s and Women’s Singles went up by £120,000.
- 54,250 balls were used in Wimbledon 2015. Yes, that’s a whole lot of tennis balls, all courtesy of Slazenger, but you wouldn’t expect any less in a tournament with over 660 matches over a two-week timeframe.
- There were no shutouts in either the Men’s or Women’s singles from the fourth round onwards. Everyone in the main draw who made it to the fourth round or better scored at least one point at Wimbledon 2015, only underscoring the competitiveness of this year’s event.
- Rafael Nadal suffered his fourth straight early-round Wimbledon upset loss at the 2015 tourney. Nadal, who is currently ranked world number ten, hasn’t had a good run since winning Wimbledon in 2010. He’s been upset early on in the tourney for four straight years, with this year’s surprise loss coming to 102nd-ranked Dustin Brown of Germany.
- Colombia’s Santiago Giraldo scored the only walk-over win in the Men’s Singles tournament. He defeated Japan’s Kei Nishikori in the second round, after Nishikori withdrew due to a calf injury.
- “Marathon man” John Isner had another long match at Wimbledon 2015, but lost this one – Throughout his career, Isner has been involved in some long, long matches, including an 11-hour, 5-minute win (over three days) over France’s Nicolas Mahut at Wimbledon 2010, the longest in pro tennis history. This year, Isner’s third-round match against Marin Cilic took two days to complete, though the second day saw Isner losing in just two games and five minutes.
- Germany had the youngest and oldest men in Wimbledon 2015’s main draw for Men’s Singles. Alexander Zverev, who lost to American Denis Kudla in the second round, was 18 years and 83 days old at the start of the tournament. Tommy Haas, on the other hand, was 37 years and 100 days old, and he also lost in the second round, falling to Canada’s Milos Raonic.
- Quarterfinalist CoCo Vandeweghe comes from a well-known athletic family. The American, who lost to Maria Sharapova in the Women’s Singles quarterfinals, is the niece of former NBA star Kiki Vandeweghe. Paternal grandfather Ernie and grand-uncle Mel Hutchins also had NBA careers, both in the league’s formative years of the early-mid ‘50s. Her mother Tauna was an Olympic swimmer, competing in the 1976 Olympics in Montreal.
- The Williams sisters’ rivalry continued at Wimbledon 2015, but on a much smaller scale. 16th-seeded Venus lost to first seed Serena in the fourth round, marking their sixth match against each other at Wimbledon and first since 2009. This was, however, only the second that wasn’t a finals matchup.
- Lucie Hradecka registered the fastest serve among the women of Wimbledon 2015 – Although she bowed out in the first round, the Czech Republic’s Hradecka had the fastest serve speed of any woman at Wimbledon 2015, at 125 mph.
- The US finished 1-2-3 among ace leaders in Women’s Singles. Serena Williams (80), Madison Keys (59), and CoCo Vandeweghe (39) had the most aces among Women’s Singles competitors at Wimbledon 2015. Garbine Muguruza of Spain, who lost to Williams in the women’s final, was a rather distant fourth with 30 aces, despite also playing seven matches.
Men’s and Women’s Doubles
- The Williams sisters were ranked well outside the Top 100 in Women’s Doubles but still got a special seeding. Despite their individual accomplishments, Venus and Serena Williams were ranked at a lowly #266 in Women’s Doubles at the start of Wimbledon 2015. They got a special 12th seed for Wimbledon 2015, but chose to withdraw instead.
- Martina Hingis was the only player to win two championships in Wimbledon 2015. Teaming up with India’s Sania Mirza, the Swiss veteran won the Women’s Doubles, and went on to win the Mixed Doubles tournament, this time with another Indian player, Leander Paes.
- Mike Bryan was number one seed in two doubles categories. He and twin brother Bob were top-seeded in Men’s Doubles. Mike Bryan was also ranked top seed in Mixed Doubles, teaming with Bethanie Mattek-Sands. Unfortunately, neither of those tandems made it past the semifinals.
- Jean-Julien Rojer has represented three countries in his professional tennis career. Rojer, who won the Men’s Doubles championship with Romanian Horia Tecau, represented the Netherland Antilles from 2002 to 2010 and his birth country Curacao from 2010 to 2012. He has been representing the Netherlands since 2012.
- Both 2014 Boys’ and Girls’ Singles champions did not defend this year. As Boys’ Singles defending champ Noah Rubin turned 19 in February, he turned pro in June and was already above the age limit of 18. 2014 Girls’ Singles champion Jelena Ostapenko was still within the age limit, but chose to compete in Women’s Singles instead.
- The 2015 Girls’ Singles champion won despite being unseeded. 15-year-old Sofya Zhuk won the Girls’ Singles championship in an all-Russian final against Anna Blinkova, and did this despite not being seeded at the start of the tournament.
- The Senior Men’s Invitation Doubles featured the tournament’s oldest player. At 59 years of age, Mansour Bahrami of Iran was the oldest competitor at Wimbledon 2015. He teamed up with Frenchman Henri Leconte in the Senior Men’s Invitation Doubles, but finished fourth out of four pairs in his grouping.