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Monday, June 25, 2012
Wimbledon is underway in SW19 and tennis is not the only thing on the menu – mountains of strawberries and enough champagne to fill an Olympic swimming pools are set to feature heavily too.
At least thirteen days of tennis (and maybe more if the final goes long) shall push players to make gargantuan physical efforts, calling up unknown reserves of mental toughness.
Last year’s final was fought by Novak Djokovic and Rafa Nadal – two of the busiest players on the tour. Serbian Djokovic ran out a convincing 3-1 winner.
That match-up could be repeated this year - as will the shadow Wimbledon; which can be summed up as a feast of consumption.
So London24 takes a look at the details which make the tournament the incredible event that it is today.
In total, 584 players are going to play 662 tennis matches on 19 courts across the 13.5 acres watched by around 38,500 people every day.
Fans will slosh back 200,000 glasses of Pimms, scoff a 28,000kg mountain of strawberries, accompanied by 7,000 litres of dairy cream.
An additional 25,000 champagne corks will also be popped by revellers, 200,000 sandwiches wolfed down, and 32,000 portions of fish and chips consumed.
It is all enough to make Wimbledon seem like a fast-track to serious indigestion, not a top-class sporting spectacle.
But what a spectacle it promises to be and also one less likely to be ruined by the weather – thanks to the 3,000-tonne roof protecting centre court.
The giant canopy, measuring 5,2000sq metres, means the top matches will not get stopped for rain.
Around 143,000 tonnes of conditioned air from nine giant cooler units is pumped around the enclosed venue every second – which is itself could hold 290 million tennis balls.
So pack your sun screen and a brolly and loosen the belt buckle a couple of notches.