Rolex And Wimbledon: An Enduring Relationship

As the world’s best tennis players gather at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club for the 137th edition of Wimbledon, the iconic watch brand stands as a testament to the enduring legacy of this prestigious event.

July 4, 2024

Two Grand Slams are already done this year, at Melbourne and Paris, and now all eyes are on the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, currently hosting the most prestigious event on the tennis calendar, Wimbledon, between July 1-14, 2024. Rolex is the principal supporter and partner of tennis, its commitment extending across the men’s and women’s game and embracing high-quality events and exciting talent. Wimbledon marks Rolex’s longest association among the four Grand Slams they partner with: the Australian Open, in January, Roland-Garros in late May/early June, the Championships, Wimbledon in July, the US Open, in late August/early September.

Centre Court at the championships, Wimbledon. ©Rolex/Antoine Couvercelle

Wimbledon occupies a revered place in tennis history. From cheering for your favourite players to the thrilling moments during the tournament, every match played raises the sport’s values to the highest level on Centre Court. Recall the epic encounters between Rod Laver and John Newcombe, Björn Borg and John McEnroe, Chris Evert and Martina Navratilova, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, and many others. Over the decades, these epic clashes have shaped the legend of Wimbledon, with Rolex having the privilege of witnessing it all from a front-row seat.

With the tournament having started this Monday, July 1, 2024, the world’s best players are competing on Wimbledon’s hallowed lawns for the 137th time, striving to etch their names into sporting history. Sharing the same quest for performance, the relationship between Rolex and Wimbledon began almost half a century ago, in 1978, with the world’s largest watch brand supporting the leading tournament and tennis talents ever since.

The late 1970s marked the dawn of a golden era for professional tennis. The allure of major competitions skyrocketed, the sport achieved global prominence, and its stars began to captivate audiences worldwide. In 1978, Wimbledon set the tone for the decades to come, as Rolex joined forces with the sport at its most iconic event—the one that commands the largest global following. This seminal act heralded the beginning of Rolex’s unwavering commitment to tennis.

Nestled in southwest London, the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club has been the revered host of Wimbledon since 1877, the world’s oldest tennis tournament and the quintessential stage for grass-court tennis. For almost fifty years, Rolex has proudly supported this pinnacle of sporting excellence, cementing its legacy in the annals of tennis history.

Rising Stars and Rolex Testimonees

Rolex has forged relationships with many of the sport’s greatest players, men and women spread across several generations, who have shaped the game and continue to determine its future.

Carlos Alcaraz hits a serve en route to victory at the championships, Wimbledon, 2023. ©Rolex/Antoin Couver

In keeping with tradition, reigning gentlemen’s singles champion Carlos Alcaraz, a Rolex Testimonee, who recently won his third Grand Slam title at Roland-Garros and played his match on Monday, says: “Honestly, the way that I played in that final last year, having all my closest people there and the atmosphere around the whole day, was a beautiful moment. At times, overcoming my emotions felt like a bigger challenge than winning match point. To win while representing Rolex was even more special because the brand is such an important part of Wimbledon. It’s the only tournament where the defending champion starts play on the first Monday, so it’s a great honor.”

Roger Federer lifts the Gentlemen’s Singles trophy at the championships, Wimbledon, 2007. © Rolex/Gianni Ciaccia

Another legend and Rolex Testimonee, Roger Federer, joined the Rolex family in 2001. The Swiss champion went on to forge an extraordinary career, winning a record eight Wimbledon singles titles and 20 Grand Slam tournaments. Federer reflects on his long journey with Wimbledon and Rolex: “From the very first time I walked out on court at The All England Club as a junior, I felt that Wimbledon was special.”

Alongside Alcaraz, who is aiming for back-to-back glory, several other Rolex Testimonees are competing, including Taylor Fritz, Holger Rune, Ben Shelton, Jannik Sinner, and Stéfanos Tsitsipás.

Iga Świątek in action at the championships, Wimbledon 2023. ©Rolex/Antoine Couvercelle

Fresh from winning a historic fourth Roland-Garros title in June, Iga Świątek is competing for the Venus Rosewater Dish in the ladies’ singles draw alongside fellow Rolex Testimonees Coco Gauff, Caroline Wozniacki, and Qinwen Zheng. This year also marks a significant moment for 2018 champion Angelique Kerber, who returns to Wimbledon for the first time since becoming a mother.

The Unique Elegance of Wimbledon

Wimbledon is the only one of the four Grand Slam tournaments to be played on grass. Requiring meticulous year-round preparation, its pristine lawns are mown daily to an exact height of eight millimeters—a surface reserved for the select few privileged to hold a racket on these courts. The Wimbledon rules, though ever-changing, remain steeped in tradition, highlighting the organisers’ desire to maintain the highest standards of etiquette. The Testament to this is the rule that player attire must be predominantly white.

First played in 1877, Wimbledon is the epitome of elegance and tradition, and as Official Timekeeper, Rolex supports its commitment to tennis excellence and the tournament’s treasured legacies. Cut to 2024, we eagerly await July 14, 2024, to see if Alcaraz lifts the prestigious Men’s Wimbledon Trophy once more.

Roger Federer’s kit on the Centre Court, Wimbeldon. ©Rolex/Jon Buckle

Rolex Testimonees Who Have Won The Wimbledon

Rod Laver (1961, 1962, 1968, 1969)

Chris Evert (1974, 1976, 1981)

Björn Borg (1976, 1977, 1978, 1979, 1980)

Stefan Edberg (1988, 1990)

Roger Federer (2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012, 2017)

Garbiñe Muguruza (2017)

Angelique Kerber (2018)

Carlos Alcaraz (2023)

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