Wimbledon Championship is the world’s most illustrious and clichéd tennis tournament. Now vs. Then, there have been a huge number of evolutions and changes with the increase in its popularity and arrangement of the game. The Constant Growth and Popularity of Wimbledon: Earlier, Wimbledon was not as popular as it is now. The rise in its popularity was evidenced in the 90s. From participants and countries to fans, the number has increased and continues to increase every year. Moreover, with the ease in excess and transportation, the country participation has also changed. In the late 90s around 34 nationalities participated in Wimbledon Championship and today around 49 nationalities participate in Wimbledon Championship. Subscribe here
The Venue: Since the beginning of Wimbledon Championship, from playing the 1st match All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club has been the venue, is an iconic place for sports events. Earlier, the club had less capacity but with the increase in the number of people who came to watch tennis tournaments, the capacity was extended by 5000 in later 90s and in 2009 a retractable roof was added to the venue. Besides, earlier in the late 90s the venue had a ground's capacity of 30,000 people and center court seats less than 10,000 and an attendance of fewer than 300,000 people. Whereas, now in 2018 the venue has a ground capacity of fitting in 39,000 people and center court seats around 15,000 and a total attendance of 480,000 people. Tournament Design: Earlier the tennis tournament was divided into professional and amateur circuits. Amature players were paid which was known as Shamateurism. The amateur players were paid to compete at several tournaments. This act was considered untrustworthy and unfair. Therefore, Herman David, the chairmen of All England Club in 1959 along with the members of International Tennis Federation took an action to support the concept of Open Era of sport to support the idea that professional tennis players must be allowed to play alongside on the amateur tennis players. Later Open Era of tennis was introduced bringing a major change in the tournament design.
Scoring System and the use of Technology: With no use of technology in the game, there were manual scoreboards, then there is today. With the tech-sports use computers and net-cord machines are used to score the match. Not just this but Hawk-Eye is used for electronic review system is used now which was used for the 1st time in Wimbledon in 2007. But some courts in the venue already had electronic scoreboards since the early 90s. But with the evolution, they were replaced by video scoreboards in 2008.
Prize Pay: Earlier there was a discrimination between the men singles and women singles prize of money. Obviously, men singles winner got a higher amount of money as a prize than women singles winner. Billie Jean King, the Wimbledon Championship 1977 Women Singles winner, raised her voice against the unequal prize pay. This resulted in a major change of prize, i.e equal sums of money for both Men and Women Singles at Grand Slams. To this day, the Wimbledon prize money for both men and women is equal and same.
Despite all the changes the tradition of presenting man’s champion a Silverlight Challenge Cup and women’s champion a Venus Rosewater Dish remains the same. Besides, the presentation of trophies remains the same, by the president of All England Club president. Moreover, the predominant tradition of women players dressing in a white kit when receiving their trophy remains the same.
The constant spread and popularity of Wimbledon has caused a massive increase in the fan base all these years and is constantly seen rising for more years to live by!