While the Queen Mother did not attend Andy Murray's Wimbledon victory the weekend before last, the rumor is that she would knight Murray after he became the first British man in 77 years to win Wimbledon. The Queen has attended four Wimbledons in her life, but perhaps this year's 70,000 pound price tag was too much for Buckingham Palace to justify. The cheapest available ticket for the match was 4,400 pounds. To put this into context, this was 400 percent above the 2012 Olympic gold medal match Murray won on the same court last year and 300 percent higher than the most expensive ticket in the U.S. over the last 12 months (Super Bowl).
With 77 years of national pride at stake, though, price did not matter much to those in attendance. The list of spectators included celebrities with plenty of money to afford tickets, including Pipa Middleton, Ron Wood of the Rolling Stones, and Victoria Beckham. Those lucky enough to witness it live saw the first British champion since Fred Perry in 1936. They also saw the first British Wimbledon champion to be crowned in shorts. In the era of Fred Perry, players wore white slacks.
Over the last 77 years, fans at Wimbledon have seen champions crowned from 10 different nations, including the U.S. Americans have won 33 titles in all and 15 of those have come within the last 40 years. The biggest contributor to that run was Pete Sampras, who won eight titles from 1993-2000. Despite three finals appearances by Andy Roddick since 2004, it's now been 13 years since the U.S. claimed victory at the All England Club. If U.S. tennis does not find a certified contender soon, it may be a long time until they add their 34th title.
More troublesome for U.S. tennis, though, is their losing streak at home for the U.S. Open. Barring a miracle, this year's U.S. Open will mark the 10th consecutive year that a U.S. man fails to win. The U.S. Open was first played in 1881, and it wasn't until 1926 that a non-American won the tournament. Over the last 50 years, Americans have taken home the title 19 times, for a 38 percent share of victories. That list of champions includes Stan Smith, Arthur Ashe, Jimmy Connors, John McEnroe, Andre Agassi, Pete Sampras and most recently, Andy Roddick. Currently, there are only two American men in the top 75 ATP world rankings, and neither has a real chance to win.
Despite the lack of American firepower, ticket prices for the finals are always one of the most expensive of the year. The current average for U.S. Open Tickets to the Men's final is $755, which is $100 less than last year's price. You can get in for around $200. If Jon Isner (ATP #19) or Mardy Fish (ATP #61) miraculously makes it to the finals, prices are certain to rise, although they'd still be well below the price for the Wimbledon finals. If it takes another 67 years to find a bona fide American contender, though, don't be surprised if it costs you $5,000 to get into the 2080 U.S. Open.