Jun 20

Today marks the start of Wimbledon, the oldest and most prestigious tennis tournament in the world. Whether you will be heading down to the All England Club to watch the proceedings in person, or tucking into your strawberries and cream at home in front of the television like me, we hope you enjoy ARKive’s wild guide to the championships!

Remember the dress code

Steeped in tradition, Wimbledon has a strict dress code with competitors required to wear an all white outfit. These Verreaux’s sifakas have got the look just right, perhaps you should keep an eye out for them in the doubles!

Verreaux's sifaka photo

Watch out for Royalty

Positioned at the south end of centre court is the Royal Box, the perfect place for the Queen triggerfish to spectate from. Remember to keep an eye out for Her Majesty, if she is in attendance then the players are required to bow or curtsy.

Queen triggerfish photo


You cannot be serious!

There’ll be no arguing with the umpire anymore, since 2007 the Hawk-Eye computer system has been made part of the adjudication process. Named after the extraordinary vision of birds of prey like this booted eagle, Hawk-Eye enables players to challenge line calls.

Booted eagle photo

Used balls please!

Each year the tournament is supplied with about 52,000 balls to be used for practice, qualifying and the competition itself. In the past some of the used balls have been donated to the Wildlife Trusts to provide homes for harvest mice!

Harvest mouse photo

Get a good spot on Murray Mound

Previously known as “Rusedski Ridge” or “Henman Hill”, one of the best places to soak up the atmosphere and catch some of the action at Wimbledon is the slope currently referred to as “Murray Mound”, where important matches are broadcast on a giant screen. Try and get there early to secure a good spot, just like these common dwarf mongooses.

Common dwarf mongoose photo

Expect to get wet

Taking place during the British summer, wet weather and Wimbledon go hand in hand and most years rain is almost as much of a feature of the tournament as tennis is. Although centre court was fitted with a retractable roof in 2009, if you are elsewhere in the grounds then follow the example of this Sumatran orang-utan and bring a brolly!

Sumatran orang-utan photo

Claire Lewis, ARKive Media Researcher