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What do we know about the first ever Wimbledon championship?

As this year's Wimbledon finals start to take shape in the Men's and Women's draws, it is interes...



What do we know about the firs...
Other Sports

What do we know about the first ever Wimbledon championship?

As this year's Wimbledon finals start to take shape in the Men's and Women's draws, it is interesting to note that the first ever championship started 141 years ago.

So what do we know about Wimbledon 1877?

The Winner

That man was Spencer Gore and he battled his way through seven rounds of action to take the title.

Winning the final in straight sets (6–1, 6–2, 6–4) in just under 50 minutes, he defeated fellow Englishman William Marshall.

Born and raised within a mile of Wimbledon, he was a fitting winner of the first tournament, doing so at the age of 27, and is also noted as the man who pioneered the art of volleying in tennis.

Gore died in 1906 aged 56.

Spencer Gore /Wikimedia Commons

The first prize

The monetary gift the 22 entrants were fighting for was 12 guineas and a silver trophy presented by the world's oldest field sports magazine, conveniently called The Field.

A guinea is approximately £1.05 (€1.46) which gives you an idea of the lavish funds a Wimbledon title offered ...

The founding

The All England Club organised the lawn tennis tournament as a means of funding a pony-drawn roller to help keep its lawns in ship shape.

Ultimately, the tournament made a tidy profit of £10 which was enough to keep the pony-roller maintained. 

Much of the rules of the game used in that debut tournament were drawn from the Marylebone Cricket Club's rules which had been standardised two years earlier.

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