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Wimbledon is coming up and there are a few things you might find surprising about the legendary competition!

This is a perfect opportunity to arrange a get together with your friends and family and entertain them in your luxury retirement living apartment.

We have pulled together some fun facts form the foundations the great tournament’s traditions.  

Playing with your palm? 

According to tennis legend the game used to be played using the palm of the hand instead of rackets. Up until the 16th century these were the rules of the game, but we’re sure every modern player is happy about the introduction of rackets! Without them the record for fastest serve would have never been recorded. John Isner holds the ATP’s official record for the fastest serve at 253 km/h or 157.2 mph hit during the 2016 Davis Cup. 

What a lot of Balls  

Throughout the Wimbledon tournament around 54,000 balls are used with every 7 to 9 balls being inspected and replaced. When the balls aren’t in use, they are stored in a refrigerated container to keep them absolutely spotless! 

All in white 

As we all know the Wimbledon players have always played in white, but the tradition runs so deep that it is actually written into the rules of competition for every player to be in all white (including underwear!). Andre Agassi, known for his outlandish and colourful outfits (and jean shorts), refused to adhere to these rules and thus didn’t play at Wimbledon until he turned 21. Luckily watching the games from the comfort of your luxury retirement living you will get to decide your own dress code.  

Keeping a Beady Eye out  

There is an integral member of the security in the two weeks of Wimbledon, Rufus the Hawk is the security on hand to scare away the pigeons away from the courts. Rufus keeps a watchful eye on intruding mess making pigeons so the grounds remain pristine. We all know how pesky pigeons can be and it’s important that there is no mess at the legendary tournament of Wimbledon.  

Great British Treats 

It wouldn’t be Wimbledon without all of the treats that come with the big event over the two weeks. Whether you fancy a jug of Pimm’s or some strawberries and cream, it’s the best time to treat yourself. With the sun (hopefully) beaming down and a refreshing cool drink of Pimm’s with cucumber and oranges we couldn’t think of a better way to spend a lovely day at Burghley Retirement Living. Bringing the retirement community together over the summer will be a great way to get to know your neighbours and have fun celebrating everything that is great about this British tennis institution! 

Champagne, Strawberries and Cream by a Tennis Racquet

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Miss J.Hunter Dunn, Miss J.Hunter Dunn,
Furnish’d and burnish’d by Aldershot sun,
What strenuous singles we played after tea,
We in the tournament – you against me!

Love-thirty, love-forty, oh! weakness of joy,
The speed of a swallow, the grace of a boy,
With carefullest carelessness, gaily you won,
I am weak from your loveliness, Joan Hunter Dunn


You may never have made the acquaintance of Miss Joan Hunter Dunn, or even been to Aldershot … but you should be in total accord with Sir John Betjeman’s enthusiasm for the joys of tennis, and here is why.

Taking that giant step for which, some can’t wait, but which others dread – retirement – can be daunting.  What are you going to do with yourself to make positive and constructive use of the hours now available? How can you match the ideal of maintaining or maybe even boosting opportunities for social interaction and friendship, keeping the brain and body active and meeting the need to see a task through to a satisfactory conclusion – all of those things that a job may have given you? Join the local tennis club near our luxury retirement villages to make sure that you continue to enjoy these benefits of working life.


Your local borough council may from time to time offer courses aimed at getting retirees back into sport, you can even do walking tennis.  You are likely to come across a mixed bunch of people, some of whom may have played tennis decades earlier and saw an opportunity to get back into it, others may be complete beginners. There’s no reason you can’t bring along another retiree from our senior living communities who shares a mutual interest in tennis or just for moral support.

Tennis people tend to be a friendly bunch, no airs or graces with a positive and supportive atmosphere which will see you improving your tennis and enjoying being in the group very quickly.  When the course ends, you may be tempted to join a tennis club and hopefully find the reception from the club is just as open and welcoming.  Even for older beginners this is a well-trodden pathway which ensures that you find your feet and your new playing partners, with no trouble at all. If you’re looking for active retirement communities, this is a great extra or alternative.

In fact, back in 1940s Britain, Sir John found more than simply a playing partner at his tennis club:

Around us are Rovers and Austins afar,
Above us the intimate roof of the car,
And here on my right is the girl of my choice,
With the tilt of her nose and the chime of her voice.

And the scent of her wrap, and the words never said,
And the ominous, ominous dancing ahead.
We sat in the car park till twenty to one
And now I’m engaged to Miss Joan Hunter Dunn.

Tennis will help you to stay physically fit, build friendships, challenge yourself to improve and maintain a targeted, external focus.  Not to mention how you may just enjoy the visits to the clubs from your luxury retirement villages, the preferential access to Wimbledon tickets and the tennis holidays in far-flung places. Taking up tennis in retirement will give you nothing but good returns (pun intended).


(The verses above are taken from “A Subaltern’s Love Song”, written by Sir John Betjeman in 1941.)


Author – Lee Knapp

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