The Championships, Wimbledon, or simply Wimbledon, is the oldest tennis tournament in the world and is considered the most prestigious. It has been held at the All England Club in the London suburb of Wimbledon since 1877. It is one of the four Grand Slam tennis tournaments, and the only one still played on the game's original surface, grass, which gave the game of lawn tennis its name.
The tournament takes place over two weeks in late June and early July, culminating with the Ladies' and Gentlemen's Singles Final, scheduled respectively for the second Saturday and Sunday. Each year, five major events are contested, as well as four junior events and four invitational events.
The hard court Australian Open and clay court French Open precede Wimbledon in the calendar year. The hard court US Open follows. For men, the grass court AEGON Championships, also in London, as well as the Gerry Weber Open in Halle, Germany, serve as respective warm-up events. For women, the AEGON Classic in Birmingham and 2 joint events, the UNICEF Open in 's-Hertogenbosch, Netherlands and the AEGON International Eastbourne serve as warm-up events to Wimbledon.
Wimbledon traditions include a strict dress code for competitors, the eating of strawberries and cream, and Royal patronage. In 2009, Wimbledon's Centre Court was fitted with a retractable roof to prevent rain delaying and interrupting Centre Court matches during the tournament.