When you think of Tennis, you can’t but be thinking of Wimbledon too. Although there are many tournaments throughout the year , Wimbledon is the one tournament that every Tennis player aspires to win.
But when did it all start?
On July 9, 1877, the All England Croquet and Lawn Tennis Club begins its first lawn tennis tournament at Wimbledon, then an outer-suburb of London. Twenty-one amateurs competed in the Gentlemen’s Singles tournament, the only event at the first Wimbledon. The winner was to claim a 25-guinea trophy.
The rules were as follows:
++The court will have a rectangular shape with outer dimensions of 78 by 27 feet (23.8 by 8.2 m).
++The net will be lowered to 3 feet 3 inches (0.99 m) in the centre.
++The balls will be 2 1⁄2 to 2 5⁄8 inches (6.4 to 6.7 cm) in diameter and 1 3⁄4 ounces (50 g) in weight.
++The real tennis method of scoring by fifteens (15, 30, 40) will be adopted.[p]
++The first player to win six games wins the set with ‘sudden death’ occurring at five games all except for the final, when a lead of two games in each set is necessary.
++Players will change ends at the end of a set unless otherwise decreed by the umpire.
++The server will have two chances at each point to deliver a correct service and must have one foot behind the baseline.
Players were instructed to provide their own racquets and wear shoes without heels.
The final was scheduled for Monday, July 16, but it was postponed due to rain.
It was rescheduled for July 19, 200 spectators paid a shilling each to see the final between William Marshall, and W. Spencer Gore, The final that lasted only 48 minutes, the 27-year-old Gore dominated with his strong volleying game, defeating Marshall, 6-1, 6-2, 6-4.
Gore wasn’t only a Tennis player but also a first-class cricketer.
142 years later Wimbledon is the most important Tennis event on the sporting calendar. Although it has lost some of its allure in recent years.Well at least that’s what I think. I grew up watching stars and characters like John McEnroe,Bjorn Borg,Jinny Connors,Stefan Edberg,Boris Becker, Ivan Lendl and more recently Andre Agassi, And of course Steffi Graf, Martina Navratilova,Chris Evert Lloyd,Gabriela Sabatini, and Monica Seles.
They all were very entertaining players who aside from being great athletes also brought a small bit of showmanship in the mix.
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