The Championships, Wimbledon, commonly known simply as Wimbledon, is the oldest tennis tournament in the world, and is widely regarded as the most prestigious. It has been held at the All England Club in Wimbledon, London, since 1877 and is played on outdoor grass courts.
Wimbledon is one of the four Grand Slam tennis tournaments, the others being the Australian Open, the French Open and the US Open. Since the Australian Open shifted to hardcourt in 1988, Wimbledon is the only major still played on grass.
The tournament traditionally took place over two weeks in late June and early July, starting on the third Monday in June and culminating with the Ladies' and Gentlemen's Singles Finals, scheduled for the Saturday and Sunday at the end of the second week. However recent changes to the tennis calendar have seen the event moved back by two weeks cumulatively to begin in early July. Five major events are held each year, with additional junior and invitational competitions also taking place. Wimbledon traditions include a strict dress code for competitors and Royal patronage. The tournament is also notable for the absence of sponsor advertising around the courts. In 2009, Wimbledon's Centre Court was fitted with a retractable roof to lessen the loss of playing time due to rain.
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