Tennis is increasingly becoming a more popular spectator sport all over the world. Tournaments are well attended, and some are world renowned and highly prestigious, like Wimbledon. So far this year, tennis matches and tournaments have been postponed and some cancelled altogether because of the covid-19 pandemic. However, later this year some tournaments might return and take place in August and September.
But for now, while we wait for tennis to resume play, here are some interesting facts and statistics that you might not have known about your favourite professional tennis stars and tennis tournaments.
The longest match ever played was over 11 hours long
The longest tennis match in history took place in 2010 at Wimbledon. It spanned the course of three days, and took an incredible 11 hours and 5 minutes to complete, with the final set alone lasting 8 hours and 11 minutes. John Isner finally defeated Nicolas Mahut 6–4, 3–6, 6–7(7–9), 7–6(7–3), 70–68. This is likely to remain the longest match, at least at Wimbledon, as many Grand Slam tournaments have now introduced a fifth set tiebreaker, to shorten the matches.
Who have been the most successful players at Wimbledon?
In the Open Era, Martina Navratilova is the most successful Wimbledon Ladies Champion, with nine wins under her belt. Roger Federer is the most successful Men’s Champion, with eight trophies, but he could build on this and add more wins, as he’s still competing. At the age of thirty-eight, Federer is still going strong and doesn’t seem to want to quit anytime soon. His robust workout routine consists of warm ups, core exercises, coordination skills and more, which might explain why he’s still in such good form.
Who has won the most medals in the Olympic Games?
The female player who currently has the most medal wins in the Olympics is Venus Williams (USA). She has five medals in total, 4 gold and 1 silver. Her last medal win was silver in the Mixed Doubles at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro games.
The male player with the most Olympic Games medals is Reginald Doherty (GBR) He took part in games between 1900-1908 and won 4 medals, 3 gold and 1 bronze. His last Olympic medal win was at the 1908 London games where he won gold in Doubles. A tennis champion of the early 1900s, he was known in the tennis world as ‘R.F’ – long before Roger Federer was born!
So what are the chances of you competing in the Olympic Games? According to this quiz, an average person has a 1 in 562,400 chance of competing in the games.
The rare Career Golden Slam winners
A Career Golden Slam in tennis is when a player wins all four Grand Slams (Wimbledon, French Open, US Open, and Australian Open) and the Gold Medal in the Olympics singles event, and this can be at any point in their career. Only a handful of players have managed this feat, and they are Steffi Graf, Andre Agassi, Rafael Nadal, and Serena Williams. This truly is one of the most elite clubs in tennis, and one of the hardest to become a part of.
The longest time in the number one position
Another record that Roger Federer holds is the most time spent at number one in the ATP World Rankings. He has spent 310 weeks in total at the top during his career, with 237 of those weeks being consecutive. In the WTA rankings, and even more impressive than Federer, Steffi Graf has spent 377 weeks at the top, with 186 of those weeks being consecutive. In the current ATP live rankings, Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal are in the top two positions.
Who are the richest tennis stars?
Unsurprisingly, Roger Federer is the wealthiest tennis player on the planet, with a net worth of $450 million. This is more than double that of Novak Djokovic, who comes in second at $220 million, and this can mainly be attributed to Federer’s multiple sponsorship deals, with companies like Rolex, Mercedes, Uniqlo, and Moet & Chandon. The highest paid female tennis player is Serena Williams, with a net worth of $180 million, which is just shy of Rafael Nadal’s $200 million. Her endorsements include Beats by Dre, Delta Airlines, IBM, and Gatorade.
Wimbledon is the only tournament with an all-white dress code
Wimbledon is the only tournament to instigate a strict dress code. From 1995, it was decided that all players must wear appropriate tennis attire, and that it must be almost entirely white in colour. Before this, the rule was predominately in white, which gave players a little bit of leeway. The final say in whether a player’s attire is appropriate, and that it follows the rules, is down to the umpire on the day of the match.
The popular tennis player sponsorships
The top tennis players will have endorsement deals with certain sportswear manufacturers. They pay the tennis star money to wear their brand on the tennis court. The more successful or famous a player is, the more they will get paid by companies. At the beginning of major tournaments, clothing brands will provide their sponsored players with an outfit to wear, and this is the reason that you often see players wearing the same outfits on court, even when they are playing each other. Some well known partnerships are Rafael Nadal and Serena Williams wearing Nike, Roger Federer wearing Uniqlo (after recently leaving Nike), and Novak Djokovic wearing Lacoste (after leaving Uniqlo). Players will also have endorsement deals for other things like racquets, shoes, and even watches.