This weekend sees the final matches played at Wimbledon to determine just who will be the champions for 2017, so we thought we’d take a look at the tournament and some special names associated with Wimbledon and tennis.
Wimbledon is officially called “The Championships” although it’s known by a number of titles including “The All England Lawn Tennis Championships”, “The Wimbledon Championships”, or just “Wimbledon”. It is held at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club (All-England Club or AEC for short), which was founded in 1868 as a private croquet club called the All England Croquet Club. It was renamed the All England Croquet and Lawn Tennis Club in 1877 to account for the introduction of a brand new game that had been invented the year before – Sphairistikè or lawn tennis. Later that year the club decided to hold a tennis tournament to raise money to repair the pony roller used to maintain the lawns; 22 amateur players competed for a prize of 12 guineas and a silver cup, with the final being played in front of around 200 people after – rather fittingly – being delayed for three days by rain. The tournament generated a profit of £10 (saving the broken pony roller from the scrap heap) and launched what is now the oldest tennis tournament in the world.
Wimbledon remained a competition for amateur players only until 1968 when the tournament was opened up to allow both professional and amateur players to compete and has expanded from a single event to a tournament made up of five main events (Gentlemen’s Singles, Ladies’ Singles, Gentlemen’s Doubles, Ladies’ Doubles, and Mixed Doubles), four junior events (Boys’ Singles, Girls’ Singles, Boys’ Doubles, and Girls’ Doubles), and seven invitation events (Gentlemen’s Invitation Doubles, Ladies’ Invitation Doubles, Senior Gentlemen’s Invitation Doubles, Gentlemen’s Wheelchair Singles, Ladies’ Wheelchair Singles, Gentlemen’s Wheelchair Doubles, and Ladies’ Wheelchair Doubles). The tournament takes place over two weeks and was traditionally scheduled around the last Monday in June – this has now been delayed by a week, with play beginning on the first Monday in July.
It is one of four “Grand Slam” or “Major” tournaments, which are the four most important tennis tournaments held each year – the others are the Australian Open (held in January), the French Open (held in May), and the US Open (held in August/September). Wimbledon is the only major tournament played on grass courts; the French Open takes place on clay courts, while both the Australian Open and US Open take place on hard courts. Winning all four tournaments in one of the five main events in a single year is called a “Grand Slam”, winning all four along with a gold medal at the Summer Olympic Games is a “Golden Grand Slam/Golden Slam”, and if a player also wins the ATP World Tour Final/WTA Tour Championship (held in November) it is a “Super Slam”.
You might not realise it but “Tennis” itself has actually been used as a boy’s name; traditionally, it is an alternative version of “Tennyson” and peaked in popularity in the 1920s.
We’ve taken a look at the lists of Wimbledon champions, top tennis players, and the current top ranking players to find out which names are most popular among these winning players.
MOST POPULAR NAMES FOR WIMBLEDON CHAMPIONS:
John, Frank, Helen, and Margaret
Honourable mentions: Ken, Bob, Martina, and Elizabeth
TOP 5 NAMES FOR TOP RANKING PLAYERS:
John, Frank, Robert, Bill, Mark, Mary, Barbara, Dorothy, Helen, and Andrea
MOST POPULAR NAMES AMONGST THE TOP RANKING PLAYERS OF 2017:
David, Nicolas, Philipp, Alexander, Andre, Andrey, Daniel, Dominic, Gilles, Guillermo, John, Jonathan, Juan, Marc, Marcelo, Mikhail, Pablo, Robert, Sam, Santiago, and Steve
Alison, Anastasia, Andrea, Barbora, Caroline, Daria, Ekaterina, Jelena, Johanna, Julia, Lucie, Madison, María, Monica, Naomi, Sara, Shuai, and Timea
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