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Wimbledon’s Championships History

wimbledon

The All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, the club responsible for staging the world’s leading tennis tournament, was founded in 1868, originally as ‘The All England Croquet Club’ private club first situated off Worple Road, Wimbledon.

wimbledon II1875 was the year in which, Sphairistike, the game just introduced by major Walter Clopton Wingfield, was added to the activities of the Club. As a consequence, during the spring of 1877 the Club was re-titled ‘The All England Croquet and Lawn Tennis Club’ and so, in order to celebrate the change, it instituted the first Lawn Tennis Championship. A new code of laws, up till now administered by the Marylebone Cricket Club, was drawn up for the meeting and never changed except for details such as the height of the net and posts and the distance of the service line from the net.

By 1882 activity at the Club was almost exclusively confined to lawn tennis and that year the word ‘croquet’ was dropped from the title (restored in 1899 and known as ‘The All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club’ ever since).

In 1884 the Ladies’ Singles was inaugurated and that same year, the Gentlemen’s Doubles was started, with the trophy donated by the Oxford University Lawn Tennis Club after the end of their doubles championship, played from 1879 to 1883.

wimbledon III

Prior to the First World War the facilities at Worple Road were moved to larger premises in 1922: the foresight of building the present stadium, designed to hold 14,000 people, did more to popularise the game worldwide than anything that had happened to date.

The new ground, which many thought would turn out to be a ‘white elephant’, was financed partly from the accumulated reserves of the Club and partly by the issue of Debentures. Misgivings about the future popularity of The Championships were dispelled when applications for tickets in the first year were such that they had to be issued by a ballot — a system that has been adopted for every Championship since.

Open Tennis
The expansion of air travel in the 1950s meant more and more overseas players were competing at Wimbledon and other tournaments throughout the world, but with this new era came an epidemic of what had become known as ‘shamateurism — the receiving of financial assistance in excess of amounts permitted by the International Tennis Federation (ITF), the authority in charge of the rules of lawn tennis and the governing body of the game worldwide.

wimbledon_centre_court_

The need for reform was evident. The initiative for reform came from the then Chairman Herman David who in late 1959 put forward a proposal to the Lawn Tennis Association that The Championships be made open to all players. The following July the ITF rejected this move and several years followed in which argument persisted at all levels of the game. In 1964 the Club tried to persuade the LTA unilaterally to declare The Championships ‘open’ but support was not forthcoming.

Records Broken
In recent years long-standing records have been broken. In 1980 Bjorn Borg of Sweden became the first player to win the Gentlemen’s Singles five times in the post-challenge round era; a feat replicated by Roger Federer between 2003 and 2007. In 1985 Boris Becker, aged 17, became the youngest player, the first unseeded player and the first German to win the Gentlemen’s Singles. In 1987 Martina Navratilova of the United States became the first player to win the Ladies’ Singles six times in succession and in 1990 she attained the all-time record of nine victories in the event. Pete Sampras of the United States registered his seventh win in 2000 and in 2001, Goran Ivanisevic became the first wildcard to win the Gentlemen’s Singles.

The 100th Championships in 1986 were celebrated in a variety of ways, including a special dinner party for those who had made significant contributions over the years, and the formation of the Last 8 Club. 1993 marked the 100th Ladies’ Championships and the occasion was suitably commemorated.

The occasion of the Millennium was celebrated on the first Saturday when 64 Singles Champions, Doubles Champions four or more times, and Singles Finalists at least twice, paraded on Centre Court.

Wimbledon in the 21st Century
Wimbledon is acknowledge to be the premier tennis tournament in the world and the priority of The All England Lawn Tennis Club, which hosts The Championships, is to maintain its leadership into the twenty-first century. To that end a Long Term Plan was unveiled in 1993, which will improve the quality of the event for spectators, players, officials and neighbours.

wimbledon I

Stage one of the Plan was completed for the 1997 Championships and involved building in Aorangi Park the new No. 1 Court, a Broadcast Centre, two extra grass courts and a tunnel under the hill linking Church Road and Somerset Road.

Stage two involved the removal of the old No.1 Court complex to make way for the new Millennium Building, providing extensive facilities for the players, press, officials and Members, and the extension of the West Stand of the Centre Court with 728 extra seats.

Stage three continues. The construction of a new Championships entrance building, housing Club staff, museum, bank and ticket office at Gate 3 has left the Centre Court east side empty and will allow development to provide better facitilies for the public, increase the seating capacity from 13,800 to 15,000 and erect a retractable roof.

[Source: Wimbledon’s Web Site]

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Filed under: Roland Garros, Roland Garros Tenis Tournament, Roland Garros Tennis, Sports, Wimbledon's Championships, Wimbledon's Championships History, Wimbledon's Tennis Championships History

The event of the year: Longines invites Andre Agassi and Stefanie Graf to the French Open Tennis Tournament in Roland-Garros!

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Tennis Times Longines

(The Roland Garros French Tournament)

This 2009, the French Open Tennis Tournament in Roland-Garros will have two special guests: Andre Agassi and Stefanie Graf who will both be attending, on 6 June, the tournament in order to celebrate the 10th anniversary of their respective victories at this prestigious Parisian tournament.

Longines, the watchmaker brand for which they are Ambassadors of Elegance, will organize the event (considered to be the one of the year) around these two tennis legends and their charity foundations.

Stefanie Graf and Andre Agassi - Longines I

(Stefanie Graf and Andre Agassi, Longines’s Ambassadors of Elegance)

Among other things the program includes 8 challenges between the two champions and budding stars from over ten different countries, a gala evening and a very special auction.

The whole event will take place under the sign of elegance, the key characteristic of watches made by Longines, the Official Partner of Roland-Garros since 2007.

Longines Roland Garros

(Longines, Official Partner of the legendary French Open at Roland Garros)

Longines, as the Official Partner of the legendary French Open at Roland-Garros since 2007, has consolidated its links with the world of tennis by choosing Andre Agassi the same year and Stefanie Graf in 2008 as Ambassadors of Elegance. The couple share a love of excellence, elegance and beauty with the Swiss watch brand; together they embody the brand’s values and slogan perfectly: “Elegance is an attitude”. By supporting the respective charities of the two tennis legends and by offering a scholarship to young graduates of the Andre Agassi College Preparatory Academy, Longines is once again reaffirming its humanitarian commitment.

Stefanie Graf and Andre Agassi - Longines
(Stefanie Graf and Andre Agassi, Longines’s Ambassadors of Elegance)

[Source: Longines]
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Filed under: 2009, Andre Agassi, Andre Agassi Tennis Player, Longines, Longines Watch, Longines Watches, Roland Garros, Roland Garros Tenis Tournament, Roland Garros Tennis, Stefanie Graf, Stefanie Graf Tennis Player

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