History of the Wimbledon Tennis Championships

History of Wimbledon

History of Wimbledon

History of the Wimbledon Tennis Championships: Wimbledon or The Wimbledon as it is more commonly called is the oldest and the greatest tennis tournament in the world. It is also arguably the most famous ever. Since the very first tournament about 125 years ago in the year 1877, The Championships have always been held by the All England Lawn Tennis and the Croquet Club in Wimbledon, London and it takes place over two weeks in the late June towards the early July.

History of the Wimbledon Tennis Championships

Out of the four major annual tennis tournaments known as the ‘Grand Slams’, Wimbledon is the only one to be still played on grass, which is where the name lawn tennis originated. The grass is also the surface which provides the fastest game of tennis and is used as the court. Out of the other three, the Australian Open and the US Open are both played on hard courts, and the French Open like we already know is played on clay.

In contrast to today’s big sporting extravaganza, the very first year of the Championships took place with little fanfare. The All England Club which had been previously called the All England Croquet Club initially when it opened in the year 1869, but as the new game of lawn tennis which is a version of the original indoor racket sport known by traditionalists as ‘real tennis’ that began to start growing  in popularity at the end of the nineteenth century, which the club decided to provide tennis courts for their visitors. 14 April 1877 marked the date the Club introduced the first of several changes to become the All England Croquet.

Today’s tournament, which involves about four junior and four invitation competitions alongside the five primary contests. This includes the men’s single and double matches, the women’s individual and dual matches and the mixed doubles. The first ever Wimbledon championships had just one event, which was the Gentleman’s Singles. As it was not allowed for women to enter the first tournament in 1877, the first Wimbledon champion from a group of male competitors was twenty-seven year old Spencer William Gore. 

Lawn tennis was in its infancy at this stage, with players using essential handmade equipment and average strokes, which is not like the powerful serves and top of the range rackets that we see today. However, modern-day Wimbledon spectators would be very sure to recognize the rules of the game which were introduced by the All England Club’s Committee in 1877 as a version of those put in place by the Cricket Club, perversely the then controlling the body of ‘real’ tennis.

Even though no tournaments were held at the Wimbledon during 1915-1918 and the period 1940-1945 because of the First ever and Second World Wars, the game continued to grow famous. In 1884 the men’s double competition was introduced, and the very same year women were also invited to join the tournament. In the early fifties, the club moved from its original site on Worple Road.

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Wimbledon Tennis Championships

History of the Wimbledon Tennis Championships: After the following the completion of the five major competitor, ions, the winners are then presented with the traditional Wimbledon trophies. Replacing both the Field Cup in 1883 and the Challenge Cup in 1886, the All England Club decided that the future awards should no longer become the property of the Championship winners, who would have instead received a duplicate of the trophy while the originals were in the Wimbledon museum.

The accepted outfit of choice for most Wimbledon players back in the nineteenth century was just the basic plain white long-sleeved shirts and trousers for men and full-length corseted white dresses and hats for the women. It was not later until the late 1920s and as well as in the 1930s that the players, and particularly the female players, started to experiment with their clothing. A lot shorter skirts, shorts and sleeveless tops came up, some more daringly than others, to provide some ease of movement.

As far back in the nineteen thirties the French grand slam winner Rene Lactose promoted his label by wearing his crocodile emblazoned shirts while on the court. However, in today’s Wimbledon is adorned with the sports logos of the choice as tennis outfits seem to be a lot less about comfort or individuality and more often than not, a result of the multi-million-pound sponsorship deals with sportswear giants. 

Wimbledon Traditions

Wimbledon Traditions

History of the Wimbledon Tennis Championships: Although lots have changed since the Wimbledon Championships were first introduced in 1887, today when we think of Wimbledon fortnight many cultures still come to mind. The iconic strawberries and cream of which it is estimated that 28,000 kilos of beautiful English strawberries and roughly about 7000 liters of cream are eaten each year!

In the year 1868, the All England Club was established on just four acres of meadow land outside London. The club was initially founded to promote something called croquet, which is another lawn sport, but the popularity of tennis led it to incorporate tennis lawns into its great facilities. Later in 1877, the All England Club published an announcement in the weekly sporting magazine that said that The Field that read: “The All England Croquet and Lawn Tennis Club, Wimbledon, propose to then hold a lawn tennis meeting open to all kinds of amateurs, on Monday, July 9, and the following days. Entrance fee, one pound, one shilling.”

Then the  All English Club purchased a huge 25-guinea trophy and drew up formal rules for tennis. It was decided on a rectangular court 78 feet long by 27 feet wide; and the world adapted the real tennis method of scoring based on a clock face which is the 15, 30, 40, game; this established that the first to win six games wins a complete set; and the one that is allowed the server one fault. These decisions, was then mainly the work of club member Dr Henry Jones, remain part of the current rules.

Twenty-two men then registered for the tournament, but sadly only 21 showed up on July 9 on the first day. The 11 survivors were then reduced to six the next day, and then to three. Semifinals were then conducted on July 12, but the tournament was expelled to leave the London sporting free for the Eton vs Harrow cricket match played on Friday and Saturday once and for all. The final was scheduled for Monday, in the month of July, but, in what would become a timely occurrence in next few Wimbledon tournaments, the match was then rained out.

History of the Wimbledon Tennis Championships: It was then later rescheduled for July 19th, and on that day some 200 spectators had paid a whopping shilling each to see William Marshall, who is a Cambridge tennis “Blue,” battle W. Spencer Gore, who is an Old Harrovian racket player. In the final that lasted only a short 48 minutes, the 27-year-old Gore dominated with his solid volleying game, while crushing Marshall, 6-1, 6-2, 6-4. At the very second Wimbledon in 1878, however, Gore, unfortunately, lost his name when his net-heavy game fell prey to a creative stroke developed by challenger Frank Hadow.

In 1884, the Lady’s Singles was finally introduced at the Wimbledon, and Maud Watson won the very first championship. That year, the first national men’s doubles championship was played at Wimbledon for the very first time after many years at Oxford. The categories mixed doubles and women’s doubles were inaugurated in 1913. By the very early 1900s, Wimbledon had then graduated from an all-England to great all-world status, and in the year 1922 the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, as it was known, moved to a more massive stadium on Church Road. In the early 1950s, many tennis stars turned professional while the Wimbledon tried to remain just an amateur tournament. However, in 1968 Wimbledon welcomed the significant pros and quickly regained its original status as the world’s top tennis tournament.

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  • The Center Court with an open roof at the 2010 Championships.
  • The five main events along with the number of players
  • Gentlemen’s Singles with about 128 players. 
  • Ladies’ Singles also with 128 players.
  • Gentlemen’s Doubles with about 64 players. 
  • Ladies’ Doubles with 64 players.
  • Mixed Doubles with 48 players. 
  • These are the Junior events
  • The four junior games along with the number of players are
  • Boys’ Singles with about 64 players.
  • Girls’ Singles with 64 players.
  • Boys’ Doubles with about 32 players.
  • Girls’ Doubles with about 32 players.
  • No mixed doubles event are held at this level.
  • The seven invitational events along with the number of duos are:
  • Gentlemen’s Invitation Doubles with about eight pairs.
  • Ladies’ Invitation Doubles with eight pairs Round.
  • Senior Gentlemen’s Invitation Doubles with eight pairs.
  • Gentlemen’s Wheelchair Singles with 27 people.
  • Ladies’ Wheelchair Singles
  • Gentlemen’s Wheelchair Doubles with four pairs and 28 people. 
  • Ladies’ Wheelchair Doubles with four pairs and 28 pairs. 

History of the Wimbledon Tennis Championships: The lawns at the ground were arranged correctly so that the principal court was right in the middle with the others that were arranged around it, hence the title called “Center Court” The name was kept when the Club moved in 1922 to the present site in Church Road, although no longer an accurate description of its location. However, in the 1980 four new courts were brought into the commission on the north part of the ground, which meant the very Center Court was once even correctly described. The opening of the new number 1 Court in the year 1997 emphasized the entire description.

Ladies Championship, in the year 1884. First prize, awarded to the Maud Watson, was a flower-basket worth about 20 guineas. By the year 1882, activity at the club was almost always confined to the game of lawn tennis, and that year the word “croquet” was dropped from the title. However, for some other reasons, it was restored in the year 1899

In the year 1884, the club added Ladies’ Singles and Gentlemen’s Doubles competitions. Ladies’ Doubles and Mixed Doubles events were then added in 1913. Until later in 1922, the greatest champion had to play only in the finale, against whoever had then won through to challenge him or her. As with the other three Major and the Grand Slam events, Wimbledon was finally going to contested by the top-ranked amateur players; professional players were then later prohibited from participating. This had changed with the advent of the open era in 1968. No British man ever won the singles event at Wimbledon between Fred Perry in the year 1936 and Andy Murray in the year 2013, while no other British woman has prevailed since the one and only Virginia Wade in 1977, although Annabel Croft and Laura Robson won the Girls’ Championship in 1984 and the year 2008 respectively. The Championship was televised in the year 1937.

Though accurately only called the “Championships, Wimbledon”, depending on some sources the event is also called as, “The Wimbledon Championships” or like it was previously called “Wimbledon”. From the year 1912 to 1924, the tournament was recognized by the International Lawn Tennis Federation as the “World Grass Court Championships”.

History of the Wimbledon Tennis Championships: Wimbledon is then considered the world’s premier tennis tournament and the importance of the Club are to maintain its leadership. To that end, a long-term plan was subsequently unveiled in the year 1993, was used to improve the event for spectators, players, officials and neighbors. Stage one between the years 1994–1997 of the plan was then completed for the year 1997 championships and then involved building the new number one Court in Angora Park, and a broadcast center, with two extra grass courts and a tunnel under the hill linking Church Road and Somerset Road. Stage two involved the removal of the number one Court complex to make new ways for the new Millennium Building, providing some facilities for a few players, officials and the members, and the extension of the West Stand with about 728 extra seats. Stage three has been completed with the construction of the entrance building, the club staff housing, and the museum, bank and the ticket office.

A new roof was built in time for the 2009 championships, marking the first ever a time that rain did not stop the play for a lengthy time on the Center Court. The Club then tested the new roof of an event called A Center Court Celebration on Sunday, which featured a few exhibition matches involving Andre Agassi, Steffi Graf, Kim Clijsters and the one and only Tim Herman. The very first Championship match to take place under the roof was the early completion of the fourth round women’s singles match between the Dinara Safina and Amélie Mauresmo. The first match to be ever played in its entirety under the new roof that had taken place between Andy Murray and Stalinist Wrinkly on the 29 June 2009.

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