There are very few places like the All-England Lawn and Tennis Club. Long considered one of the centers of tennis excellence, there is something special — almost magical — about the home of The Championships. In my generation, if you wanted to end the year as the No. 1 player in the world, you had to win Wimbledon. I was fortunate to win my first of 20 Wimbledon titles as a teenager in 1961, and have been fortunate to come back every year for the last 54 years.
For many of us, Wimbledon is the perfect blend of tradition and innovation—and I do believe that is part of its magic. The symmetry of the pristine grass courts is a sight I never tire of seeing. Each year, usually the Sunday before matches start, I make a quiet trip to sit in the stands surrounding Centre Court and soak in the Wimbledon experience—just as I did when I played the tournament. As I leave, I always grab one blade of grass from Centre Court, and cherish the wonderful memories of this place.