Anyone for Tennis?
By Glenn Cowan
Its that time of year again folks!
Time to get the strawberries ‘n cream at the ready, or pimms, or maybe even both…
For June can only mean one thing and Yes, you have guessed it, it’s the start of the Wimbledon Tennis Championships.
Defending champions Novak Djokovic and Serena Williams will be keen to ensure that they perform to the same levels that saw them do so well in last year’s tournament. Djokovic will be hoping to get a step closer to Roger Federer's record of 5 consecutive wins. The big hitting Serbian can close the gap if he wins this year's tournament.
The dates for the most prestigious tennis tournament have been declared, asrunning from 27th June through to 12th July. Key dates to look out for are as follows:
29th & 30th June - 2nd Round
1st to 3rd July - 3rd Round
4th July - Round of 16
5th & 6th July - Men's & Women's quarterfinals
7th & 8th July - Men’s & Women’s semifinals
9th July - Women’s final
10th July - Men’s final
Of course, all of these dates are susceptible to the power of the good old British summer!
Players to Watch
There are 32 seeded players in the Gentlemen’s and Ladies’ singles tournaments.
The list of “usual suspects” include Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer and Andy Murray in the men’s tournament. However, look out for both Milos Raonic and Stan Wawrinka to make good challenges.
In the Ladies tournament, things seem to be a little more open, that is aside from (6 time winner) Serena Williams. You can expect to see stiff competition from Petra KVitova, Victoria Azarenka and Garbine Muguruza in the latter stages of the event.
Interesting Wimbledon Facts!
Here a a few not-so-well known facts about the All-England club tournament.
Feel free to use them in a pub quiz, or competition with your pals!
We all know that Wimbledon is a major sporting event, but did you know that it is the largest sporting catering operation carried out anywhere in Europe, involving 1800 staff!
In 2015, there were 54,250 balls used during the championship period. Each ball is stored at a steady 68 def F, with new balls used after the first seven games, which allows for the warm-up period. Used balls change hands at £2.50 per can of three (subject to availability)
BBC is the host broadcaster with an extended agreement running from 2011 to 2017. The global audience for the game has topped 1bn people, in over 200 different territories
Back onto the subject of English strawberries, an unbelievable 142,000 portions were consumed during the 2015 championships!
The retractable Centre Court roof takes just 10 minutes to close; however, a further 30 minutes is required after the roof is close to stabilise the internal environment.
There are no less than 9 chiller units used to keep the air cool for both spectators and players alike and if you ever get asked how many Tennis balls it would take to fill the entire centre court area with the roof closed then you would be well to answer 290million!
The fastest ever servers at Wimbledon have been Taylor Dent in 2010 at a zippy 148mph, followed by Venus Williams for the ladies in 2008, when she hit the ball 129mph.
Negativity in Tennis
Tennis has been under increased scrutiny in recent times with some very high profile betting and drugs scandals. Maria Sharapova would easily be the highest profile player to fall foul of a change in the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA)’s banned substances list.
Match fixing has also reared its less than savoury head again, with Italian investigators suggesting that more than two dozen leading players should be investigated. It has been thought that some previous Wimbledon and French Open matches would be worthy of investigating by the Tennis Integrity Unit (TIU).
Prize Money 2016
Prize money has a parity for both men and women in this year's tournament, despite some fairly recent suggestions by some top male players that they should earn more for their efforts.
Total prize money for the Singles tournaments has risen by judy obrt 5% from last years offerings, to a whopping £21,712,000 combined.
The winners can expect to pocket a cool £2M each, which isn’t a bad payday for a couple of weeks of summer work! Even the first round losers can expect to receive £30,000.
As you would expect the tournament prizes are very heavily weighted towards the singles competitions. The overall prize pot adds up to £28,100,000 with the singles players winning over ¾ of the available monies.
Where to Watch Wimbledon in Pattaya
As usual there will be no shortage of top venues to watch the championships in.
Favourable playing times, with matches starting on the outside courts at 11:30 am (UK) time and the higher profile games taking place from 1:00 pm (UK) time mean that Pattaya bars will be busy around tea-time as tennis lovers follow the action.
The brand new Retox “Game On”, located on Soi Honey will be one of the best places to catch up with the action, as will the Lion Pub and of course the Sportsman and Frasers Bar & Restaurant in Jomtien.
It would definitely be sensible to find a bar with lots of screens,ensuring you have the best chance of watching the matches that most take your interest.
Of course, one thing to consider during the Wimbledon fortnight is that there is also another sporting spectacle taking place, namely the 2016 Euro Championships.
With coverage for some of the games taking place at similar times you might well have to make a decision between watching the footie or your favorite tennis star!