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Sir David Attenborough is the reason why Wimbledon tennis balls are yellow!

There are a total of four Grand Slam tournaments in tennis – Australian OpenFrench Open, Wimbledon and US Open. Four of them, Wimbledon It is the oldest tennis tournament in the world and is widely considered the most prestigious. It began in 1877 and has been played at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club in Wimbledon, London for the last 147 years.

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Tennis balls were white or black

But did you know that in those days, Tennis Balls Were they white or black? The fluorescent yellow tennis ball we all know today was only accepted as the new standard by the International Tennis Federation (ITF) in 1972.

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This change was pioneered by British naturalist and broadcaster David Attenborough, who visited Wimbledon in the 1960s. It was around the time television was switching from black and white to colour and Attenborough was working for the BBC at the time.

David Attenborough

Color televisions and tennis balls

BBC Two was on track to become the first channel in Europe to broadcast in colour, and it focused on Wimbledon as the perfect programme to broadcast in colour. The producers had a hard time showing viewers black or white balls moving quickly over the white lines, or when the balls started to stain the green on the grass.

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What Attenborough suggests

Following the 1967 Wimbledon tournament, Attenborough suggested that a fluorescent ball would be more visibleand the ITF accepted the offer after trying several colors.

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It was first used at Wimbledon in 1986

The ITF introduced fluorescent yellow balls in 1972 because “research had shown that these balls were more visible to television viewers.” However, it took another 14 years, until 1986, for Wimbledon to be played with fluorescent yellow balls.

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