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The Story Behind the Wimbledon Trophy

In the past eleven years, only four names have been engraved on the Gentlemen's Singles Championship Trophy at Wimbledon--Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal. Here is the detailed scoop on the highly coveted trophy that has only seen four winners in over a decade.

The All England Club presented the first Wimbledon Trophy in 1887, replacing the previous Field Cup and the Challenge Cup--both won by William Renshaw after winning the gentleman's title three times in succession. The All England Club had to spend 100 guineas to purchase the trophy as the they were not prepared to risk losing a third cup to a future three-time championship. From here on out, it was decided that the new trophy would never become the property of the winner.

Made of silver gilt, the trophy is 18 inches high with a diameter of 7.5 inches. The inscription reads: The All England Lawn Tennis Club Single Handed Championship of the World, and around the bowl are engraved the dates and names of the champions. Strangely, no one really seems to know what the carving of the pineapple on the top of the cup means. One theory is that it has to do with the tradition of British navy captains putting a pineapple on top of their gateposts after returning from sea. More likely is that in the 17th century, pineapples were a sought after commodity and having one meant you had achieved a certain social status.

In 2009, there was no longer any space left to engrave the names of the champions, so a black plinth with an ornamented silver band was designed to accompany the cup. These days, champions get a 3/4 replica of the trophy, bearing the names of all past champions.

Engraving of the trophy is completed by Roman Zoltowski, who drives from Poland each year to hand engrave each of the 48 trophies given out (including the second place finishers, women's singles winners, and doubles winners). Each trophy takes around 18 minutes to engrave.

Pete Sampras has won the trophy the most times at 7, followed closely by Roger Federer at 6 wins and Bjorn Borg at 5 wins. It is definitely one of the most coveted trophies in all of sports.


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