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The History Of Wimbledon

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The history of the Wimbledon Tennis Championship can be traced back as far as 1874, when Major Walter Clopton Wingfield originally devised the game of Lawn Tennis. Originally called ‘Sphairistike’, Lawn Tennis found a home at Wimbledon’s ‘All England Croquet Club’ where it was added as an activity in 1875, with the first Championship subsequently being held in 1877. At this point, the name of the club was changed to ‘The All England Croquet and Lawn Tennis Club.’

During these first Championships, the unique code of conduct for competing at Wimbledon was drawn up. Although many technical regulations, such as those governing equipment and court sizes, have since been changed, many of Wimbledon’s traditions still come from this rulebook.

During the first running of the tournament in 1877, only men’s singles were contested. However, ladies and doubles events were gradually added until most disciplines of tennis were represented by 1913.

By 1882, Lawn Tennis had become so popular, and Croquet so obsolete, that Wimbledon’s governing organisation was renamed simply ‘The All England Lawn Tennis Club’. However, simply for sentimental reasons, it was changed back to ‘The All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club’ in 1889.

When the tournament first started, the reigning Champion of Wimbledon did not have to take part in the whole competition. Instead, they would only play in the final against the player who had beaten the rest of the field in a knockout tournament. This practice, however, was scrapped in 1922.

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