? Although Wimbledon is famous for its annual All-England Lawn Tennis Championships, tennis was not the first sport played at the club. What was?
•Croquet. In 1869 the All-England Croquet Club was formed at Wimbledon. It was not until 1875 that part of its ground was set aside for tennis. Two years later tennis had become so popular at Wimbledon that the club's name was changed to the All-England Croquet and Lawn Tennis Club. Then, in 1883, Croquet was deleted from the club's title. Twenty years later, however, the title of the club that holds the Wimbledon championships was changed, for the last time, to the All-England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club.
? When was the first tennis championship held at Wimbledon? Who won?
•The first tournament was played in 1877. Spencer W. Gore won the men's singles (the only event) by beating W. C. Marshall in the final, 6-1, 6-2, 6-4.
? When were men's doubles, mixed doubles and women's events established as part of the Wimbledon championships?
•A men's doubles competition was started in 1879, but it was played at Oxford until 1884. The first women's singles championship was held in 1884, attracting an entry of 13 players. Maud Watson became the first woman champion when she beat her sister Lilian in the final, 6-8, 6-3, 6-3. The mixed and women's doubles were introduced in 1913.
? Has anyone ever won the Wimbledon singles, doubles and mixed doubles championships in the same year?
•Yes. Suzanne Lenglen took all three titles in 1920, 1922 and 1925. Louise Brough won them two times (1948 and 1950), and Alice Marble (1939) and Doris Hart (1951) each won them once. Don Budge was the only man to win all three events two times (1937 and 1938). Bobby Riggs, playing in his first Wimbledon championship, won the three titles in 1939 as did Frank Sedgman in 1952.
? Who was the youngest player ever to win a men's or women's Wimbledon title?
•Miss Lottie Dod won the women's singles in 1887 at the age of 15 (under the existing rules her record cannot be broken as no one under the age of 16 can compete). Miss Dod went on to win four more championships and then in her early 20s retired to devote her time to golf.
? Who was the first American to win the Wimbledon singles title?
•May Sutton, at the age of 18, won in her first attempt in 1905. She was singles champion again in 1907.
? Who was the first American man to win the singles championship?
•Bill Tilden, in his first appearance at Wimbledon, won in 1920. He repeated in 1921 and nine years later, at the age of 37, won again. That 1930 title was Tilden's last championship as an amateur.
? Who holds the record for winning the most singles titles?
•Mrs. Helen Wills Moody won eight titles, one more than Mrs. Lambert Chambers. Mrs. Moody, who took her last championship in 1938, won her first four titles in consecutive years (1927-1930).
? Why were last year's Wimbledon championships, the 75th meeting, especially pleasing to the British?
•For the first time in 47 years there was an All-British women's final. Furthermore, when Angela Mortimer beat Christine Truman in the final, she became the first English champion since 1937.