Aorangi Terrace, commonly known as "Henman Hill", alongside a series of other nicknames, is a mostly grassed banked area in the grounds of the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club where, during the annual Wimbledon tennis championship, crowds of people without showcourt tickets can watch the tennis matches live on a giant television screen at the side of No. 1 Court. The terrace is also the main site for spectators to eat picnics. During television broadcasts of matches, cameras often sweep over the area, and sports journalists frequently conduct vox pops and interviews with members of the crowd.
The terrace's nickname of Henman Hill emerged in the late 1990s when British supporters would congregate to watch the matches of Tim Henman at the site. Aorangi Terrace is frequently given other alliterative nicknames relating to British players competing at Wimbledon (Murray Mound, Heather Hill, Robson Ridge etc.), but Henman Hill has remained the most commonly used phrase.
The terrace is named after Aorangi Park, the London New Zealand Rugby Club's grounds, which were on the site until 1981. Aorangi refers to the 'canonical' Māori description of Aoraki, the highest mountain in New Zealand, also known as Mount Cook. A new big screen was installed on the site following the construction of the new Court No1 in 1997. This coincided with the popularity of British player Tim Henman, and the site soon gained the nickname "Henman Hill", becoming a focal point for so-called Henmania. British tennis followers would fanatically support four-time Wimbledon semi-finalist Henman as he played often dramatic matches in his many attempts to win the title.
Since Henman's retirement in 2007, the area has been colloquially named after other British tennis players. Most frequently, the site has been associated with Andy Murray, with names such as Murray Mound, Mount Murray, Murray Mountain and Murrayfield (in reference to the stadium in Edinburgh of the same name) all used. The name "Henman Hill" is still[when?] used by the BBC and other media in reference to the area. In 2009, Tim Henman stated on Friday Night with Jonathan Ross that he had agreed with Andy Murray it is still "Henman Hill". Henman joked that "[Murray] can have all those grand slams he's going to win but I'm keeping my hill."
Tennis pundits and tabloids have occasionally referred to the hill according to the names of a series of other British players who have participated in Wimbledon. During Greg Rusedski matches, the area was sometimes called Rusedski Ridge; Robson Ridge or Robson Green (a play on the name of a British actor) have been used in reference to Laura Robson; and Heather Hill in reference to British player Heather Watson.
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But if the mania on the steep grass verge now informally called "Murray mound" was muted, it was not only down to nerves...
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So "Rusedski Ridge" is no more and will become "Henman Hill" again...
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