The Championships, Wimbledon, begins today. If you look up ‘tradition’ in the dictionary, you’d probably see a picture of Centre Court at the All England Lawn Tennis & Croquet Club in Wimbledon. There is a strict dress code for competitors who must be dressed in suitable tennis attire that is almost entirely white and this applies from the point at which the player enters the court surround. Before you ask, “white” does not include off white or cream. Culinary tradition means one thing. Strawberries and cream with a Pimm’s spritzer in the gallery.
Unfortunately, prior to 2013 when Great Britain’s Andy Murray took home the top prize in the Gentleman’s Singles Finals, tradition also meant disappointment for those with any hope that a Brit would come away with the coveted Silver cup or Rosewater Dish. You have to go all the way back to 1936 when Britain’s Fred Perry won the Men’s Singles final while Virginia Wade was the last Briton to win the Ladies Singles final back in 1977.
At this time of year, one can’t help but think of the great British comedy duo / Wimbledon Ladies Doubles partners of Dawn French and Jennifer Saunders as the oldest tennis tournament in the world, and widely considered the most prestigious, takes over the tennis world for the next two weeks. Here, we get a brief glimpse into the world of Wimbledon 1995 where we quickly understand why Britain might have had a rough go of it over the years.
For those playing along at home, #3 seed Andy Murray will play Mikhail Kukushkin of Kazakhstan on Tuesday. If things play out without any upsets, it will be a tough road ahead for Murray who could face a struggling Rafael Nadal in the quarter-finals, then meet seven-time Wimbledon champion, Roger Federer, in the semi-finals to gain a shot at his second Wimbledon title against the world #1, Novak Djokovic.