History of Tennis » Wimbledon
History of the Wimbledon®
The first Wimbledon tennis championship took place in 1877 at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club in Wimbledon, London, UK.
The event was initially held to raise money to fix a broken roller at the private club but instead, has evolved to become the most prestigious tennis event in the entire world. Wimbledon history is rich with fascinating tales of bygone years, the players, and the evolution of the modern facilities.
Read the Wikipedia entry about the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club here.
The only event at the first Wimbledon Championships was the men's singles; women weren't permitted to play until 1884, when Ladies' singles and men's doubles were added. Spencer Gore won the first title out of a pool of 22 players, making him instantly and always famous as the very first Wimbledon tennis champion. Approximately 200 spectators paid one shilling each to see the final match in 1877.
That first year, the players wore hats and ties and were admonished to wear shoes without heels. Serves were played underarm and the tennis balls were hand sewn. The colors of Wimbledon have always been purple and green with the players wearing almost all white. The court reserved for the finals is the most famous court at Wimbledon, Centre Court, and is the most prestigious of all the 19 courts. Courts 1 and 2 will also host championship tennis events.
The Wimbledon Championship was first played at the private club situated off Worple Road; however, the club relocated to Church Road in 1922 and has undergone several renovations since. The event takes place over a 2 week period in June, six weeks from the first Monday in August. Only 3 times in its more than 100 year history, has the event lasted longer due to rain.
Interestingly enough, the Wimbledon Championship is still played on grass; the only grand slam event to have that distinction.
Dunlop Slazenger has provided tennis balls for the Wimbledon Championship since 1902.
The men's singles champion wins a silver gilt cup and the ladies' singles champion wins a sterling silver salver known as the Rosewater Dish.
Strawberries and cream is the traditional food fare at Wimbledon.
Martina Navratilova is the Wimbledon tennis champion and the Wimbledon past winner with the most titles for Ladies' singles – 9. The Wimbledon past winner for the most men's singles is tied at seven titles each for Pete Sampras and William Renshaw. Roger Federer is the most recent Wimbledon tennis champion and Wimbledon past winner for the men's singles championship and has won the title four consecutive times from 2003 – 2006.
2007 will greet approximately 500,000 fans with millions more following the event through the press, Internet, radio, and television. Players come from more than 60 nations to compete in this prestigious event. For the first time in Wimbledon history, the men and the women will be paid the same amount beginning with the 2007 event. The men have historically won more than the women but 2007 will award $1.54 million to each of the ladies' and men's singles champion.
Read more about Wimbledon by clicking the following link: http://wimbledon.org.