All About Tennis at Wimbledon
The name Wimbledon brings to our mind an association with tennis.
It happens to be the name of a former municipal borough of
Surrey, England. Since the year 1965, it has been part of
Merton, one of the 32 boroughs in Greater London. It is located
to the south of the River Thames. It lies thirteen kilometers to
the southwest city of London. The place is now better known for
the annual international tennis tournaments that are held every
June-July. The Wimbledon championship is the only one of the
four annual Grand Slam events in tennis, which is still played
on natural grass.
The history of Wimbledon dates back to 1877 when the first
Wimbledon championship was held. It was conducted on one of the
croquet lawns of the All-England Croquet and Lawn Tennis Club.
Seven years later, a championship for women was introduced in
the annual tournament. The same year, the venue for the national
men's doubles was shifted to Oxford. It was in the year 1913
that mixed doubles for men and women were introduced.
The Wimbledon Championships were originally played by
amateurs. It was only years later, in 1968 that the titles
were contested by professional tennis players. In the
inaugural year, Rod Laver of Australia and Billie Jean
King of United States won the singles championships.
Today, the championship also includes contests for junior
boys and girls and senior players, in addition to the
singles titles, doubles titles and the mixed doubles
The first person to win three Wimbledon titles in a single
year was Suzanne Lenglen of France. The first man to do
the same was J. Donald Budge from the United States. Bjorn
Borg from Sweden blazed trails when he won the singles
title for the fifth consecutive time in the year 1980.
Martina Navratilova let that pale by annexing the singles
title six times continuously in the period 1982 and 87.
The championships held by Australia, France, Great Britain
and the United States are the four major tournaments that
constitute the Grand Slam. Of these, the Wimbledon
championship conducted by Great Britain is the oldest. The
French championships, considered the world's premier
clay court tournament, are played at Stade Roland Garros
in Auteuil, on the outskirts of Paris. The American
championships were played on grass courts, from the time
of their inception in 1881 to 1974. Until 1977, they were
played on synthetic clay surface and since 1978, they are
being played on the rubberized asphalt courts of the USTA
National Tennis Centre. It was played on grass in several
cities that the Australian championships were played until
the year 1968. Beginning 1988, the games began to be
played on the synthetic courts of the new Australian
National Tennis Centre.
The International Tennis Federation and the national
associations that constitute the body govern tennis
worldwide. Tournaments such as the Davis Cup, Federation
Cup and Olympic tennis are overseen by these bodies. The ITF and the national associations that comprise it govern
tennis worldwide. They oversee international competitions
such as the Davis Cup and Federation Cup and tennis in the