What do people eat at Wimbledon? When were rackets introduced? Here are 10 fun facts and trivia that’ll make you appreciate the upcoming BNP Paribas WTA Finals Singapore presented by SC Global even more.
Come October, tennis will be on everyone’s lips and social media newsfeed as BNP Paribas WTA Finals Singapore presented by SC Global returns to the court. Stay at the top of the game with these 10 tennis facts and trivia that will impress your friends and even score you major points at a pub quiz in Singapore!
The longest rally played in tennis history… lasted for 29 minutes. Jean Hepner and Vicki Nelson-Dunbar recorded a whopping 643 shots during a Ginny tournament in Richmond, Virginia, in 1984. Nelson-Dunbar eventually defeated Hepner 6-4, 7-6 after 6 hours 31 minutes.
The fastest female serve ever… was by Sabine Lisicki at the Bank of the West Classic match in Stanford, US. At 131mph, the monster hit by Lisicki trumped Venus William’s 128mph serve in the 2007 US Open – though the German ace lost to her opponent Ana Ivanovic in the end.
The most successful female player of all time in the open era is… Martina Navratilova, a retired Czech and American tennis star. She boasts nine Wimbledon wins, and holds a 18 Grand Slam singles titles, 31 major women’s double titles, and 10 major mixed doubles titles.
Wimbledon’s essential watching refreshments are… strawberries and cream washed down with a glass of Pimms.
Rectangular courts were… created in 1875 for Wimbledon. Originally, the court was an hourglass shape.
The US Open trophy is made by… luxury jeweller Tiffany&Co. Fancy!
The shortest Grand Slam final in the open era… lasted only 32 minutes, with Steffi Graf beating Natasha Zvereva 6-0 6-0 in the 1982 French Open Final.
Tennis was originally played with… nothing but your hand. Rackets weren’t introduced until the 16th century.
Ever wondered where the 15, 30, 40 scoring system came from..? One theory is that clock faces were originally used to keep tabs on the score, with a quarter move of the hand to indicate 15, 30, and 45, and game over when the hand moved to 60. But, in order to ensure that a game couldn’t be won by a one point difference, the concept of ‘deuce’ was created. The movement to 45 on the clock face was changed to 40, and subsequent winning points would move the clock hands to 50, then 60. If a player failed to win two consecutive points, the clock would move back to 40, or ‘deuce’. So now you know.
The ball is usually only in play… for all of 20 minutes in an average, two-and-a-half-hour tennis match.
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This article is sponsored by BNP Paribas WTA Finals Singapore presented by SC Global