How much do ball boys and girls get paid at Wimbledon 2022?
It’s not just the star players that are needed on court for the world’s most famous grass surface tennis tournament that takes place in London SW19.
The world’s most famous queue began streaming into the All England Club last week as the gates opened for the start of the 135th edition of the Wimbledon championships.
‘New balls please!’
The quintessential English sight of thousands of tennis fans waiting patiently, often having camped overnight, to gain entry to the grounds has been missing since 2019.
Covid-19 put paid to Wimbledon in 2020 and last year the queue was scrapped on safety grounds as the tournament returned to semi-normality, albeit with restricted attendances and players based in secure hotel bubbles.
Although all that makes Wimbledon such a spectacle has returned, it is not quite business as usual despite the buzz around the grounds as the gates opened at 0900 GMT on a breezy morning in south west London.
For a start, Roger Federer, the king of the lawns with a record eight men’s singles titles, is absent for the first time since winning the junior event in 1998.
The 40-year-old Swiss is recovering from a knee injury and has not played since losing to Poland’s Hubert Hurkacz in the quarter-finals a year ago.
Also missing is men’s world number one Daniil Medvedev after organisers banned Russian and Belarusian players in response to the invasion of Ukraine while women’s defending champion Ash Barty has retired.
The ban on Russians and Belarusians prompted the ATP and WTA to take away ranking points from Wimbledon this year.
Play is also scheduled for 14 days, rather than the traditional 13, with middle Sunday no longer a rest day, meaning the end of so-called Manic Monday when all the men’s and women’s fourth-round matches used to be played.
Unsung heroes of SW19
Often anonymous but very much an integral part of the smooth running of proceedings, the Wimbledon ball boys and girls (BBGs) are chosen from 250 teenagers from schools around the south west area of the English capital with ages of the chosen few ranging from 14-17.
Given their young age, the ball kids are not paid a traditional wage but given expenses or a stipend which is fixed at £200 GBP ($241 USD) per week.