Why The Oldest Tennis Competition In The World Is Played On Grass

Whilst there are hundreds of tennis tournaments played each year, there are four events on the tennis calendar that are valued above all others.

The Grand Slam tournaments are the biggest showcase for the world of tennis and have evolved throughout the years to encourage high-quality play.

Two of the four Grand Slams, the Australian Open and the US Open, use hard courts, whilst the French Open has its iconic red clay court.

However, one Grand Slam stands out as not only the oldest tennis competition in history but also the only one that still uses tennis grass seeds and keeps the spirit of lawn tennis alive.

Sometimes known simply as The Championships, most fans know it simply as Wimbledon.

Interestingly enough, the legendary grass court, which has been used every year since 1877 came about as the result of serendipity as much as anything else.

The All England Club was initially a croquet club, taking advantage in 1876 of the highly popular lawn game’s playing surface to devise a new variation of real tennis, an indoor game with roots that stretch back to the 12th century.

A year later, in 1877, the club renamed itself the “All England Croquet And Lawn Tennis Club” and announced the creation of a lawn tennis championship, which would later be known as Wimbledon.

It was initially a fundraiser to pay for repairs to its pony roller, a tool used to compact the lawn and keep the surface flat enough to play high-quality tennis.

This led to the creation of a new set of laws for the game, which has only had subtle changes to the height of the net, and the distance between it and the service line since.

After a five day tournament that was played over nine days due to weather, Spencer Gore dropped only two sets in his four rounds of play in the 21-man tournament to win the final in straight sets in just 48 minutes, a record that would be smashed in 1881.

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