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Get informed here about Wimbledon history. Learn what happened in Wimbledon in past and how it evolved as the most prestigious tennis tournament in the world.

Wimbledon History

Wimbledon Tennis Tournament, which began its journey way back in 1877 as a garden-party tournament has become a Grand Slam Tournament, the most prestigious tennis tournament in the world. Here is brief history of Wimbledon tennis tournament.

Year of Changes
Due to the efforts of Henry Cavendish Jones, All England Croquet Club replaced the croquet court with a lawn tennis court in 1875. Marylebone Club followed suit and made significant changes in tennis. Rules of Deuce, Advantage, and 2 chances per serve were introduced. The hourglass-shaped court replaced by a rectangular court, which is in vogue even now.

First Wimbledon
The first Wimbledon event was organized in 1877 by the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, to raise money for a new roller. The tournament had only 22 male participants. Held in a garden, the first Wimbledon was witnessed by a small number of people. Spectators paid one shilling to watch the final. The winner of the event was Spencer Gore, who noted that the tournament would not continue for long. He was proved wrong!

Ladies' Singles and Men's Doubles
Ladies' Singles and Men's Doubles were introduced in the Wimbledon in 1884. There were only 13 women participants. In a few years' time, both the varieties gained popularity. Lottie Dod of England won the Wimbledon Ladies Singles title in 1887. She won it 5 times between 1887 and 1893. She is the youngest player to win a singles event.

Renshaw Rush
British twins Ernest and William Renshaw were the first stars of the Wimbledon. Popularly known as 'Renshaw Rush', the brothers won 13 titles between 1881 and 1889 either playing separately or as doubles partners. The Overhead Smash was introduced into the game by the 'Renshaw Rush'.

First Overseas Winner
May Sutton of the United States became the first overseas winner of the Wimbledon in 1905, when she won the Women's Singles Title. Thus the tournament achieved global status.

1905 was the year of one more record. The Doherty brothers (Laurie and Reggie) won the Wimbledon Men's Doubles title for the eighth time creating a record. Interestingly, both of them were born in Wimbledon!

A Turnaround
Two years later, Norman Brookes of Australia became the first Men's Singles champion from outside England. Brookes' victory brought a turnaround in Wimbledon. After him, only two British men, Arthur Gore and Fred Perry, could win the Wimbledon championship.

Oldest Champions
Charlotte Sterry of Great Britain won Wimbledon Ladies Singles champion in 1908 at the age of 37 years and 282 days. Arthur Gore, another British citizen, became the oldest Wimbledon Men's Singles champion at the age of 41 years and 182 days. The records are not yet broken.

Triple Titles
Luzanne Lenglen of France won the triple crown of Ladies Singles, Ladies Doubles, and Mixed Doubles in 1920. She was the first player to win triple titles.

New Venue for Wimbledon Tournament
Same year, work for new venue for Wimbledon Tournament to be located on Church Street started. Estimated cost of the new venue was £140,000. The new venue opened for business in 1922.

Break in Wimbledon
World War II put a hold on the Wimbledon from 1940 to 1945. A Centre Court was hit by a bomb in October 1940. Nobody died or injured. However the stadium was damaged. The tournament restarted in 1946.

Knicker Controversy
In 1949, Renowned fashion designer Ted Tinling designed a dress for the American Gertrude "Gussy" Moran that shocked not only tennis lovers but also England. Her lace-trimmed knickers became a point of drawing room discussion. The matter was even raised in parliament by the members.

Rod Laver Rocks
Australian player Rod Laver won the Wimbledon Men's Singles title in 1962. He rocked in Wimbledon for several years.

Bjorn Borg and Billie
Swedish player Björn Borg won his first singles title in Wimbledon in 1976. He continued to win five consecutive Wimbledon Mens Singles title.
Billie Jean King won the Wimbledon Ladies Doubles title in 1979, which totalled a record 20 titles in all (6 Ladies Singles, 10 Ladies Doubles, and 4 Mixed Doubles). A great record!

Boom Boom Becker
Boris Becker of Germany earned the laurels of becoming the youngest ever and first unseeded to win Wimbledon Men's Singles champion at the age of only 17 years and 227 days in 1985.

Martina Martina
Martina Navratilova has been among the greatest performers in Wimbledon. She became the Wimbledon Ladies Singles champion for a record ninth time in 1990. She retired from singles tennis in 1994.

Hai Hingis
Martina Hingis of Switzerland became the youngest ever Wimbledon champion, when she won the Ladies Doubles in 1996 at the age of only 15 years and 282 days.

Major Decisions

Decision Year
Introduction of lawn tennis court 1875
Deuce, Advantage, and 2 chances per serve 1875
Overhead smash introduced 1880
The idea of seeding players 1927
Wimbledon on color television for the first time 1967
Introduction of Tie-break 1971
First time players were allowed chairs on court 1975