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The Fascinating Story of Wimbledon - The Mecca of World Tennis

The Story of Wimbledon
Wimbledon is termed as one of the greatest tennis championships. Want to know the past events that took place at Wimbledon? If you are a tennis lover, then you ought to read this.
Sonu S
Wimbledon is the oldest tennis tournament in the world. It is considered to be the most prestigious too. This is mainly due to its glorious tradition. What makes Wimbledon unique is the fact that, it is the only Grand Slam played on a grass court. It starts towards the end of June and extends into July. During this time, finest tennis players from all over the world come to a region in the outskirts of London, called Wimbledon. The players battle each other out for a total prize money of $22.1 million. Knowing this, let's delve deep into the course of events that took place at Wimbledon.
History of Wimbledon
It may sound like an exaggeration, but Wimbledon can be considered as the birthplace and school of tennis. As a matter of fact, the history of tennis begins from Wimbledon. It is the place where most of the rules in tennis, that we have now, were formed. It has completed over a hundred years, giving the world of tennis new legends.
Beginning of the Wimbledon Championship
Around 1873, major Walter Clopton Wingfield introduced Sphairistike. By making certain adaptations, indoor tennis was played on grass, this was Sphairistike. This game gained huge popularity and several sports clubs in London started facilitating it. People started calling it lawn tennis, because it is played on grass. The growing fame of the sport prompted the All England Croquet Club, in Wimbledon, to incorporate this game. The club was renamed All England Croquet and Lawn Tennis Club in 1877. In the same year, it announced a lawn tennis championship.
The First Wimbledon Championship
The opening day of the Wimbledon championship was on 9th of July 1877. The tournament was affected by changing schedules. The final of the tournament was attended by 200 people, who were charged a shilling each. The final was won by Spencer Gore. The Championship was called the Gentlemen's Singles.
Ladies' Singles Title and the Gentlemen's Doubles in Wimbledon
In 1884, the Ladies' Singles championship was introduced. A number of 13 players fought for the title and finally Maud Watson won the championship. The same year saw the inauguration of the Gentlemen's Doubles title.
Renshaw Rush
In the mid-80s, lawn tennis had gained immense popularity. This was the golden period of the Renshaw twins. Ernest and William Renshaw won 13 titles, including individual and doubles titles, in the decade from 1880-1890. Their matches were the crowd pullers. This is the reason why this phase in the Wimbledon history is called the Renshaw Rush.
International Stature
By the 20th century, Wimbledon was one of the most reputed championships in the world. The first overseas champion was May Sutton from the United States. There was a time when the championships were dominated by the overseas players.
Relocation of Wimbledon Championship
In 1922, the championships were relocated to the Church Road from Worple Road. The stadium at Church Ground was designed to accommodate 14,000 spectators. It had better facilities and thus contributed to the growth of Wimbledon's popularity. The site for the Championships has not changed since then.
The Center Court
Wimbledon is known for its Center Court. The other courts surround this court. All the important matches are held at the Center Court. Few lines from Rudyard Kipling's If are inscribed above the player's entrance in the Center Court. The inscription says;
"If you can meet with triumph and disaster
And treat those two imposters just the same"
Trivia on Wimbledon
  • Frederick John Perry was the last British man to win a Wimbledon Championship. This happened in 1936. Since then, no British man has won the title.
  • Wimbledon did not allow professional tennis players till 1968.
  • The first player of African origin to win the championship was Althea Gibson.
  • Boris Becker was the first German, the first unseeded player and the youngest player to win the Wimbledon Championship. He was just 17, when he achieved this feat.
Some people call Wimbledon as the classiest Grand Slam. Few are worried that one day, even Wimbledon will bid farewell to the grass courts. Wimbledon has played a significant role in making lawn tennis what it currently is. Wimbledon is for winners. You cannot be a tennis great, if you haven't won a Wimbledon.