The Wimbledon Championships tournament is regarded as one of the oldest tennis tournaments in the world. Officially speaking, the tournament is called the Championships, Wimbledon and has been running since 1887, nearly 142 years ago. For the Wimbledon Championships 2019, the tournament will be heading into its 143rd year.
Wimbledon is the third of 4 major Grand Slams along with the Australian Open, French Open and the US Open. With the other three adopting hard court or clay, in the French Open’s case, Wimbledon is still played on the traditional grass surface.
Every year, the Wimbledon tournament is held at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club. The club was founded back in 1868 and will be celebrating its 151st anniversary. Previously, it was dubbed the All England Croquet Club before being renamed in 1877.
The Lawn Tennis Championship was born out of a desire to herald the name change. That year, the regulations were drafted to kick off the championship. Everything started off with the Gentlemen’s Singles championship and the inaugural winner was Spencer Gore.
Thought-provokingly, Centre Court was so-called, because it was right in the middle, surrounded by smaller courts. However, as the years rolled on, the name stuck, though it was less to do with the placement.
The Lawn Tennis Championship was then known as the Wimbledon championships in 1887. This was three years after the Ladies’ Singles’ and Gentlemen’s Doubles championships were added. Finally, in 1913, the Ladies’ Doubles championship was added to the roster to join its male counterpart.
It was also note-worthy that until the year 1922, the champion did not need to play until the final. Meanwhile, the poor challenger had the misfortune of playing the entire tournament until they met the defending champion. This usually resulted in multiple consecutive titles being won.
Incidentally, the Wimbledon Championships had the fewest home winners. After 1936, there had been no British winner in the Gentlemen’s Singles until Andy Murray in 2013. Among the ladies, Virginia Wade is the last female British winner, back in 1977.