Wimbledon 2022 FAQs and facts: Your bizarre, weird and wonderful questions answered (2023)

No, we're not talking about whether Novak Djokovic can become the most successful Wimbledon champion of all time, or whether Roger Federer is playing in this year's tournament.

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Instead, you're contemplating the true colour of the ball (is it yellow or green?!), wondering why Wimbledon fans so obsessed with strawberries and cream and, wait, why is there a pineapple on top of the trophy?! What is life? Where did we come from?

This year, we're here to help you. We're here to help you sit back and enjoy the action without the distraction of brain-melting questions whirring around your head.

No longer will you need to face the wrath of super-keen friends as you ponder why players wear white, how long the grass is or what you'll find inside the beating heart of a tennis ball.

If you're all set and ready, RadioTimes.com will begin to answer those FAQs you simply need to be answered before sinking back into your chair and letting The Championships illuminate your summer days.

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Can Wimbledon players go to the toilet during a match?

Wimbledon rules permit players to "request permission to leave the court for a reasonable time for a toilet break", but this must be taken during a set break and cannot be used for any other purpose.

Male and female players are allowed two toilet breaks per match, while doubles teams must share their allocated number of breaks.

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The rulebook also states "the nearest assigned bathroom should be used" and that a line judge must accompany the player to ensure they "do not use the break for any other purpose".

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Why are Wimbledon tennis balls kept in the fridge?

Don't you hate it when you're searching for that jar of mayo at the back of the fridge and you can't see past the Wimbledon tennis balls spilling out?

Throughout history, fridges have been deployed at the side of courts to maintain the consistency of bounce in every ball while they're waiting to be used.

The 53,000 balls used at the tournament will be kept at 20 degrees until it's their time to shine.

How loudly do Wimbledon players grunt?

Maria Sharapova would commonly tip over 100 decibels on court, while Monica Seles and Jimmy Connors were the earliest known pioneers of 'The Grunt'.

How much will strawberries and cream cost at Wimbledon?

A portion of 10 strawberries (minimum) and a lashing of cream will set you back £2.50 at the Championships.

The strawberries are always Grade 1 from farms in Kent, and they are picked at 4:00am on the day they are sold and scoffed at Wimbledon.

More than 166,000 portions were sold during the two-week 2018 tournament – but wait, why are we eating them at Wimbledon?

Why do people eat strawberries and cream at Wimbledon?

The delicious snack was served to 200 punters at the 1877 Championships and the tradition is still going strong more than 140 years later.

But the origin story of strawberries and cream allegedly dates back to 1509, when Thomas Wolsey – a powerful figure around the time of King Henry XIII – served up the treat to guests at a banquet.

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Wolsey's own palace also boasted tennis courts, where staff would be deployed to bring strawberries and cream to guests. A simple luxury fit for a king.

What length is the grass on Centre Court?

The first cut in preparation for the Championships shaves the lawn down to 25mm, before the winter sees another reduction down to around 13mm.

However, this figure can only be reached without trimming off more than a third of the original length at a time, to avoid weakening the individual grass blades.

The surfaces are then cut by 1mm per week from approximately nine weeks before the tournament, down to the optimum playing height of 8mm.

In the four weeks leading up to the tournament, the grass is mowed every day to ensure the 8mm length is adhered to. Think about that next time you mow the lawn!

Can I play on Centre Court?

No. Sorry.

Do ball boys and girls get paid?

In 2015, the going rate for two weeks work at the tournament was £200 per ball boy or girl, and they were also allowed to keep the snazzy Ralph Lauren tennis uniforms worn during the Championships.

Local school headmasters are asked to select their best and brightest, and 700 applicants are narrowed down to around 250 hard-working, unsung heroes.

Why do players wear white at Wimbledon?

The original reason for cracking out the tennis whites was to prevent sweat patches prominently showing through – a disaster for the social elite types back in the day.

The tradition stuck and a fresh set of rules in 2014 stated that only "a single trim of colour" no wider than 10mm is allowed on the neckline, sleeves or even underwear.

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This is a rule the All England Club takes seriously – Roger Federer's trainers were banned from the tournament in 2013 because the soles were orange.

Are tennis balls yellow or green?

When it comes to the colour of tennis balls, we're inclined to fall in line with whatever Roger Federer thinks.

"They're yellow, right?" said Federer in 2018. Who are we to argue?

How long does it take to close the Centre Court roof?

The roof itself is a speedy mover, switching from open to closed (and vice versa) in just 10 minutes.

However, a 45-minute stoppage may be required while the air-conditioning system acclimatises the arena to become an indoor venue.

What is inside a tennis ball?

A kinder egg toy? Strawberries and cream? Pimm's? A total vacuum? A wormhole?

Nah, it's just air inside a tennis ball. Or nitrogen, for those who want to inflate tennis balls for longer.

What TFL zone is Wimbledon in?

Wimbledon sits in Zone 3. More than 12 million people pile through the barriers each year, with many heading to The Championships.

Why is there a pineapple on top of the Wimbledon trophy?

You've never noticed before, have you? Legitimately, nobody really knows.

In 2017, a spokesperson for the Wimbledon Museum told Express.co.uk that the origin story of the immortalised golden fruit contains “very few facts”, though one reasonable explanation is that pineapples were once a rarity, a sign of honour and wealth in society.

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What is love?

Haddaway didn't know the answer back in 1993 and almost three decades later we're still struggling to find the answer.

When a player doesn't have a point in a game, yet their opponent has scored, you'll hear "15-love" despite the scoreboard displaying 15-0.

The Oxford Dictionary recognised the phrase 'for love' as "without stakes being wagered" and that could result in 'love' replacing 'zero/nothing'.

A French myth suggests love came from l'ouef, the word for egg, and that a zero on the scoreboard resembles an egg. We're not buying it.

For more Wimbledon features, check out: Who has won Wimbledon the most times? | How does Wimbledon Hawk-Eye work?

Check out our live tennis on TV today page for all the major tournaments taking place this week and in 2022.

If you’re looking for something to watch, check out our TV Guide or visit our Sport hub for the latest news.


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What is the bra issue at Wimbledon? ›

The archaic rule even forced some female players to go without a bra, as the argument surrounding the All England Club's strict all-white clothing rule heightened. The controversial outfit decision came at the 2014 edition of the event, and has affected a number of female competitors since.

Why can't you wear white to Wimbledon? ›

The short answer is “because it's in the dress code.” But it's in the dress code for a reason: namely, when the code was written in the genteel 1880s, sweat stains were considered so improper and unsightly that it was decided that white should be worn to minimize their visibility, as sweat is more apparent on colorful ...

How much does a bowl of strawberries and cream cost at Wimbledon? ›

How much are strawberries and cream? The price for a portion of a Strawberries and Cream at Wimbledon has remained the same since 2010 at £2.50.

What happens to all the old balls at Wimbledon? ›

In all matches used balls will be replaced by new balls at the conclusion of the first seven games and thereafter at the conclusion of every ninth game.

Can you keep Wimbledon balls? ›

At Wimbledon fans generally do not get to keep any balls that go into the spectator area. If a ball lands near you, expect the umpire and crowd to pressure you into returning the ball. The initial set of balls is used for the warm up and the first seven games.

What can't you wear to Wimbledon? ›

There is no official Wimbledon dress code for spectators beyond a few forbidden items: no torn jeans, running vests, dirty sneakers, or sport shorts.

Can you wear flip flops to Wimbledon? ›

Wear comfortable footwear, flip-flops and high heels are not recommended. Bringing a bag to The Championships can be a burden. If you need to bring a bag then it should measure no more than 40cm x 30cm x 30cm, with as few compartments as possible. Bags with wheels are strongly discouraged.

What countries are not allowed at Wimbledon? ›

The last time Wimbledon barred athletes from specific countries was World War II, when German and Japanese players were not allowed to participate. Now, the world's oldest tennis tournament announced that players from Russia and Belarus will not be allowed to compete in the 2022 tournament.

Does Wimbledon have a dress code? ›

Although there is no specific dress code for Wimbledon goers, smart dress is encouraged. It is also advised that you consider all weather conditions when going to Wimbledon - after all, this is Great Britain! For women, a light jacket to wear over your summer dress is a good idea, as are sunglasses.

What is breakfast at Wimbledon? ›

In '79, after much wrangling, Ohlmeyer convinced his bosses at NBC that, yes, Americans would turn on the TV for tennis at 9:00 A.M. on a weekend morning for tennis. His assistant, Bob Basche, came up with a clever name, "Breakfast at Wimbledon," and Clark Gault composed a memorably grand opening theme.

Can you take your own Alcohol to Wimbledon? ›

What can I bring? Alcohol may be brought into the Grounds but is limited to the equivalent of one bottle of wine or Champagne (750ml) or two cans of beer (500ml) or two cans of premixed aperitifs per person. Bottles of spirits or fortified wines will not be allowed into the Grounds.

What is the traditional dessert at Wimbledon? ›

Eating Strawberries and Cream for Wimbledon is the traditional way to enjoy the biggest tennis event of the year. Fresh strawberries are simply bathed in fresh whipping cream which is defines that the British summer and Wimbledon has arrived.

What happens to the towels after Wimbledon? ›

At the end of a match, players are expected to leave the towels behind to be laundered. Court attendants politely ask for them, but enjoy only 20 per cent success in the reclaim procedure.

Do Wimbledon keep balls in the fridge? ›

How many balls are used during the Wimbledon fortnight? Approximately 54,000 tennis balls are used every year in the Wimbledon tennis tournament. And if you're wondering how they're kept in such pristine condition, amusingly they're stored in a refrigerated container at exactly 68°F to ensure the perfect service!

Has anyone won Wimbledon without dropping a game? ›

The 41-year-old Swede is the only tennis player to be the only one to have won both junior & senior Wimbledon singles titles without dropping a set. Roger Federer won his lone Wimbledon junior singles title in 1998 while his eighth singles title in 2017 without dropping a set.

Do Wimbledon players keep towels? ›

"The players really prize the Wimbledon towels," said George Spring, the court attendant manager at Wimbledon. "They're like souvenirs." Part of Spring's role at the All England Club entails managing the 6,000 player towels that come through the tournament each year.

Can you buy the tennis balls used at Wimbledon? ›

Please note, the cost of a used ball via The Wimbledon Shop online is different to the price charged on-site during The Championships to ensure The Wimbledon Foundation receives a donation from the online sales. The Wimbledon Foundation donates more than $‌2.

What shoes can I wear to Wimbledon? ›

Standing up and walking for a lot of the day lends itself to a bit of foot ache, which would be lessened by a more comfortable pair of shoes. Dirty trainers are not permitted into the courts – we suggest a pair of comfortable flats or a kitten heel to give you that bit of glamour.

What is Serena Williams dress code at Wimbledon? ›

'One must respect the game': The French Open bans Serena Williams' catsuit. Wimbledon's dress code dictates that "white does not include off white or cream" and "a single trim of colour around the neckline and around the cuff of the sleeves is acceptable but must be no wider than one centimetre."

Can you take a backpack into Wimbledon? ›


Bags are restricted to one per person and must be no larger than 40cm x 30cm x 30cm. 3. The AELTC will search all bags and vehicles before granting entry to the Grounds and subsequently, if required. The AELTC also reserves the right to search persons on entry to the Grounds.

Can you take babies to Wimbledon? ›

We recommend that babies in arms and pushchairs are not brought to The Championships as the Grounds are large and crowded. A ticket is not required for those under five. Babies and children under five are NOT allowed into Show Courts (Centre, No. 1, No.

What is the Wimbledon uniform controversy? ›

Wimbledon's all-white dress code changed for players' menstrual concerns The tournament will make an exception to its strict all-white clothing rules, after female players described altering their menstrual cycles to not stress about leaking onto their tennis whites.

What is the women's dispute at Wimbledon? ›

Wimbledon to appeal against WTA fine for banning players over Ukraine war. Wimbledon and the LTA are to appeal against hefty fines imposed on them by the Women's Tennis Association for their decision to ban Russian and Belarusian players this year in the wake of Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

Which female tennis players bras malfunction? ›

Turns out that was just a dimly-lit warmup act for the main event: Jelena Jankovic breaking a sports bra strap midmatch, and a woman courtside helping her remedy the function-meets-fashion conundrum. Jankovic would go on to defeat Sloane Stephens by the that's-so-them score of 6-7 (7), 6-4, 7-6 (4).

Who was asked to change her bra at Wimbledon? ›

Romanian tennis star Mihaela Buzărnescu was forced to change her bra prior to her first-round match at Wimbledon because it was not compliant with the Grand Slam tournament's rules.


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