Slazenger’s Wimbledon tennis ball has remained the preferred choice as the Official Ball to The Championships Wimbledon for 112 years, reinforcing the longest partnership association in sporting history.
We wanted to share some interesting and insightful statistics from The All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club.
We have made a few of our favourite facts and figures into cool images and you are welcome to share across your social networks as we build up to the Wimbledon finals.
290 million: Slazenger tennis balls that could fit into Centre Court with the roof closed
486,898: Attendees for the 13 days of The Championships
40miles: string used to string the 2,000 tennis rackets
200,000: glasses of Pimms served
28,000kg: strawberries served
25,000: bottles of champagne consumed
20,000: portions of frozen yoghurt
16,000: mini tennis ball key rings purchased
15,000: bananas will be eaten
7,000: litres of fresh cream used
250: ball girls and boys at the tournament
About the Ball
Since 1902 Slazenger has supplied the balls for Wimbledon contenders and its team of experts work alongside the top sports scientists at Loughborough University to guarantee The All England Lawn Tennis Club’s high standards are adhered to.
Slazenger has reinforced its reputation in the tennis field with its dedication to cutting edge product design, commitment to youth development and endorsements of top international players such as Tim Henman.
Slazenger use the highest premium grade of natural rubber and blend this with Slazenger’s formula of 14 ingredients, which give the balls unique performance characteristics.
Technology of the ball
The ball core is unique to Slazenger Wimbledon balls, the brand do not use this for any other product. It has been designed specifically for the biggest tournament in the world and the brand has been supplying premium quality balls since 1902.
The premium woven cloth is the highest grade possible and features an Ultra Vis dye for optimum visibility and also a Hydroguard water resistant treatment which means the cloth absorbs 70% less moisture than standard tennis ball cloths which keeps the balls consistent in terms of specifications and playability.
New this year
The new development this year is the tin design. The premium design features an image of centre court and has been very well received by the All England Lawn Tennis Club (AELTC).
Where they’re made
All the balls are made in the Philippines. Slazenger is the only tennis brand to wholly own its own factory, which gives the brand an advantage over the competition due to the subsequent control over quality.
The journey of the ball
The process starts with rubber compounding which involves mixing the finest natural rubber with Slazenger’s formula of ingredients. The following then takes place:
The rubber compound is then formed into pellets and these pellets are in turn moulded into half shells.
The half shells are dipped in adhesive and then bonded together under high pressure and heat.
Moulded cores are then buffed and covered in solution, which helps the cloth bond to the core.
Cloth is then applied to core and placed in a final press to cure and bond cloth to core under high heat. Slazenger use only the most premium woven cloth for the Wimbledon balls, which is produced in the UK and has been for over 100 years.
Balls are then steamed to fluff up the cloth, transfers applied and then balls sealed in pressured tins.
Balls are then shipped to the UK and delivered to the All England Club.
This is the process of making a tennis ball in its simplest form. The difference with the Slazenger Wimbledon production is that a lot of the automated steps are conducted by hand and most importantly all balls are hand tested for size, mass, compression and rebound to make sure they meet the strict quality standards for the tournament.
Slazenger make these balls to a very tight specification, which means that there is very little variation between the balls. By doing this, players benefit from a ball of superior quality with consistent playing characteristics for The Championships.
Can you guess how many will be made this year ??
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