Wimbledon Tennis Tournament

 

To a tennis fan nothing can compare to the grass courts of Wimbledon, featuring one of the greatest tennis tournament in the world.


 

Wimbledon Tennis Tournament - Winners

Wimbledon Tennis Tournament - Winners

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Wimbledon Tennis Tournament - History

The first Wimbledon championship began in 1877 as an amateur event for men's singles only. In 1884, the women's singles event was started. The same year the championship was opened to foreign players and the men's double event also started.

In the mid-1880s, the tournament caught the fancy of the masses and permanent stands were erected in the venue for spectators.

In 1905, May Sutton of the US became the first foreign player to win the championship when she won the ladies' singles title. The same year Norman Brookes of Australia became the first overseas player to enter men's singles final. He lost to Briton H.L. Doherty, but went on to win the championship two years later.

Since 1905, only two players from Britain, Arthur Gore and Fred Perry, have managed to win the event, the championship being entirely dominated by foreign players.

During the World War I in 1914, Wimbledon championship was suspended. It resumed in 1919. A year that saw an end to Britain's 35-year dominance over the championship, when Suzanne Lenglen of France defeated defending champ Dorothea Lambert Chambers.

During the World War II, a bomb struck the Centre Court in 1940, damaging 1,200 seats. In 1946, play resumed at Wimbledon, but by then the Americans had begun their dominance at the Wimbledon. Some of the notables of the period were Jack Kramer, Ted Schroeder, Tony Trabert, Louise Brough, Maureen Connolly and Althea Gibson.

The 1950s ushered in a new era of professionalism in tennis. With more and more overseas players participating and increasing sponsorship, the All England Croquet and Lawn Tennis Club proposed reforms. In 1959, the Club suggested the championship be thrown open to all players, but was met with an opposition from International Tennis Federation (ITF), the governing body of tennis worldwide, and LTA. Eleven years later, the championship was eventually declared "open" to all players. Thus, Rod Laver and Billie Jean King became the first professional champs in 1968.

In 1973, players boycotted the championship following the suspension of Nikki Pilic by the Yugoslavian Lawn Tennis Association.

Along with the French Open, the US Open and the Australian Open, the Wimbledon championship makes up the Grand Slam. The term originated from Don Budge's 1938 win of all the four championships. At the time American writer Allison Danzig said like a successful bridge player Budge had scored a 'Grand Slam' of victories in the four major tennis events in one calendar year.