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Holding Court

Wimbledon is a paradox. While outwardly appearing the quintessential English lawn tennis club, it is in fact the largest annual outside broadcast operation in the world and a multimillion dollar commercial enterprise. An enterprise that generates its profit in just two weeks of the year, it is the only tennis tournament in the world which can be described as simply "The Championships." Chris Gorringe is the man who, for 26 years, made it all happen. The former chief executive, fondly referred to as "Clockwork Gorringe," he has dealt with everything from the 1973 players' boycott, the McEnroe tantrums, and Middle Sunday, to the demands for equal prize money and the Olympic bid. He has witnessed some of the greatest names in the sport producing some of their most dazzling performances—from Navratilova to the Williams sisters, from Borg to Federer—while assisting with the requirements of and demands on today's high-profile professional tennis players. Here he charts the unique journey of a venerable establishment where decisions are still made through a committee system dating back to 1868, into the modern era.

Important places

Wimbledon (47)


Merton (48)


United Kingdom (21,421)