• Surrey Tennis

THAT Pineapple

It isn't hard to see why the Men's Singles trophy at Wimbledon is one of the most iconic in tennis.

Of course, its worth remembering that this is not always how the trophy has looked. It replaced the Field Cup (1877-1883) and the Challenge Cup (1884-1886) which were both won by William Renshaw after twice winning the Gentlemen's Singles title three times in succession.

But why did the third version of the trophy remain the same up until now you ask?

Well, Wimbledon explain on their website "The AELTC spent 100 guineas to purchase a trophy as the Club was not prepared to risk losing a third Cup to a future three-times Champion so the decision was taken that the new trophy would never become the property of the winner."

Now to address the question that has been in everyones mind...why is there a pineapple on top of the trophy?

Unfortunately there isn't actually a satisfying answer to this. The trophy itself was made in Birmingham, like most of them were in that era. “In the 19th Century if you needed a trophy made you went to Elkington and Co.,” Craig O’Donnell, a valuer and curator at the Birmingham Assay Office, told the BBC. The company went out of business in 1963, so little remains in terms of record that might shed light on the reason for the pineapple.

The most likely explanation is that the pineapple was included on the trophy as it was long considered a symbol of status, prestige, wealth, and elite success given their rarity in Europe.

In an article on the subject of the pineapple, Tennis365 explained: "A painting exists from around 1675 believed to depict a man called John Rose, the royal gardener, presenting Charles II with what was claimed to be the first pineapple grown in England, although it’s almost certain it was actually imported."

We do not know for sure why the pineapple sits so proudly on top of the trophy, but based on the centuries of prestige it represented, it would seem fitting for it to adorn the most prestigious trophy in tennis.

Surrey Tennis.


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