Why there is a pineapple atop the trophy and other Wimbledon facts

Lesser known trivia about the All England Club and the Wimbledon Championships.

FP Sports June 26, 2013 16:41:09 IST
Why there is a pineapple atop the trophy and other Wimbledon facts

Wimbledon conjures up images of players in pristine white, strawberries and cream, the Duke and Duchess of York, and, of course, those immaculately cut grass courts. Win Wimbledon and you achieve immortality in a way that winning any of the other three Grand Slams don’t quite match.

So here are a few facts, courtesy Forbes India, that you might not know about the All England Club and the Lawn Tennis Championships.

Why there is a pineapple atop the trophy and other Wimbledon facts

Gertrude "Gussie" Moran was not shy on the court. Getty

- All the courts at Wimbledon are made of rye grass, which has the ability to withstand wear and tear. It takes a team of 45 people to maintain the courts, which require more than 11,000 litres of water during the championship. Every year, one tonne worth of grass seed is planted.

- A 142,000 portions of strawberries were sold in 2012 but it isn't just strawberries that get consumed. 12,000 bananas were sold to the players, who tend to eat them during the game breaks. The catering for Wimbledon is the largest for any sporting event in Europe.

- The men's singles trophy stands 18-and-a-half inches high and has a diameter of 7-and-a-half inches. "Strangely enough, no one quite seems to know what the carving of a pineapple is doing atop this magnificent cup. One theory says it has to do with the tradition of British navy captains putting a pineapple atop their gateposts on returning home from sea."

- The outfits at Wimbledon, while always white, have seen plenty of changes over the years. In 1930, Brame Hillyard was the first man to play in shorts. There years later, Bunny Austin became the first woman to wear shorts, which she did on Centre Court. Hemlines slowly climbed from there and it was in 1949 that "Gertrude “Gussie” Moran shocked the staid spectators and press by turning up in a skirt short enough to make her ruffled underwear clearly visible."

For the full Forbes India story, click here.

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