Tennis is a very popular sport in England, mainly due to the infamous Wimbledon Championships.
- The game of tennis as we know it today originated as ‘lawn tennis’ in Birmingham, England, in the 19th century
- It was inspired and closely connected to other field and lawn games of that time
- Lawn tennis quickly became popular with the English aristocracy before spreading across the country and eventually the world
- The rules of the game have barely changed since the 1890s
Wimbledon, or simply ‘The Championships’, is the oldest tennis tournament in the world and is widely regarded as the greatest and most prestigious.
The tournament is the only one of the four Grand Slams which is played on grass, the game’s original surface, and has been held at the All England Club in the London suburb of Wimbledon since 1877.
The historic championship stretches over two weeks in late June and early July every year.
History of Wimbledon
- In 1875 the game of ‘Lawn Tennis’, was introduced to the All English Croquet Club by major Walter Clopton Wingfield
- In the spring of 1877 the Club was re-titled ‘The All England Croquet and Lawn Tennis Club’ and signalled it’s change of name by commencing the first Lawn Tennis Championship
- In 1884, a Ladies’ Singles tournament was inaugurated into the championship
- English tennis saw a golden era between the years 1934-1937, when a total of 11 titles were won, including Fred Perry’s three singles titles in succession and two by Dorothy Round
- During the same period Great Britain successfully defended the Davis Cup three times in Challenge Rounds staged on the Centre Court
- Fred Perry was the last English man to win the singles championship in 1936
- The Championship was first televised in 1937
- No English woman has won since Virginia Wade in 1977
- In 1977, The Wimbledon Championships celebrated their centenary
- The lawns at the Ground are arranged so that the principal court is situated in the middle with the others around it, hence the title ‘Centre Court’
- Wimbledon still upholds some of its strong traditions, including a strict dress code for competitors, who must wear white. Supporters eat the traditional English indulgence of strawberries and cream and there is always the presence of Royal patronage during the event. The Championship continues to disallow advertising or sponsorship around their courts