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History
Around the Academy:

1877: Wimbledon tournament

The final piece of the historical jigsaw was the intervention of the All England Club Croquet.

The club decided to hold a tennis tournament and the organising committee ditched Wingfield's odd-shaped court.

They decided to use a rectangular one, similar to that used in the game of croquet which was very popular at the time.

The first champion, Spencer Gore, won a prize of 12 guineas (about 12).

The club was renamed the All England Croquet and Lawn Tennis Club (still its official title) and effectively took over development of the game.

By 1882 the committee had made many more changes to Wingfield's game by:

  • lowering the net
  • allowing overarm serving
  • reducing the size of the service box
  • introducing the 'let' rule

The rules have remained virtually the same ever since - the only major change being the introduction of the tiebreak rule in 1971.



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