According to history, the first official lawn tennis competition is the 1877 Wimbledon Championship held in Wimbledon, London. The exact venue is at the All England Croquet and Lawn Tennis Club (AEC & LTC) and later on they recognized this tournament as the Major or Grand Slam.
They founded the AEC & LTC in July 1868 and they started using it for the competition in year 1875. They held the first competed lawn tennis here on July 9, 1877 and almost 22 competitors (men’s single amateur division) competed in the first ever tennis tournament in London, United Kingdom. Based on the information shared about the competition, they will award the winner with a 25-guinea trophy (donated by The Field sports magazine).
This even became the first Wimbledon tournament in the world.
The 22 competing individuals needed to compensate one guinea to join the tournament and as part of the award. Despite the rain during the actual event, the organizers manage to adjust the schedules of games and completed the competition successfully. There are about 200 spectators who paid for the tournament, but not all of them showed up during the actual competitions. According to history.com, out of the 22 players, only 11 of them moved to the next round and came to six players, then final three competitors.
After scheduling the final matchups on July 16, the bad weather condition again delayed the tournament and this is the reason why they needed to adjust the game again on July 19. On this date, the first ever lawn tennis event took place and the first winner of this grass-competition is W. Spencer Gore who they considered an old Harrovian racket player from Wandsworth as detailed by the information online.
The 27-year-old Gore beat his opponent William Marshall convincingly with the final score of 6-1, 6-2 and 6-4. William is a known real tennis player, but the remarkable performance of Gore overshadowed him.
Because of the successful opening lawn tennis on 1887, the organizers made an effort to establish a lawn tennis competition for women’s division known as the lady’s single in year 1884. For the first ever Wimbledon championship tournament for ladies in London, the declared winner for the competition is English tennis player Maud Watson from Harrow in London. From the same year, they also organized the first ever men’s double tennis championship at Wimbledon.
According to history.com, they inaugurated the first women’s double as well as mixed doubles in 1913. Due to the continuing success of the Wimbledon championship, the competitions continue to expand and decided to do the tournament in a bigger arena in 1991 on Church Road. This is actually the first time that they played tennis outside the AEC & LTC.
Unfortunately, Wimbledon did not easily gained recognition because majority of the competitors are amateurs. Because of this, the organizers thought about inviting professional tennis players to compete and this gave way to the popularity of Wimbledon in 1968. To date, this is one of the most anticipated competitions in the world and the only existing grass-field tennis tournament.
Some of the most popular tennis players in the world who played at Wimbledon include Andre Agassi, Roger Federer, Pete Sampras, Andy Murray, Serena Williams, and Venus Williams. Rod Lver, Boris Becker, Steffi Graf, Ilie Nastase, Martina Navratilova and Bjorn Borg and other greatest players in the history of tennis.
During the most of June and July, they schedule the Wimbledon championship as part of the “Grand Slam” tennis tournaments, which include the United State, Australian and French Opens. Worldwide tennis superstars get the opportunity to showcase their talents playing in natural grass tennis court.
Credit image: El Grafico