KEY DATES FOR WIMBLEDON 2016

Qualifying begins: 20 June

The Draw: 24 June

Pre-event Press Conferences: 25 & 26 June

Order of Play: 26 June

Championships begin: 27 June

COME BACK FOR LIVE SCORES & LIVE BLOG FROM 20 JUNE

Wimbledon.com uses cookies. 
We use simple text files called cookies, saved on your computer, to help us deliver the best experience for you. Click continue to acknowledge that you are happy to receive cookies from Wimbledon.com.
CONTINUE >Find out more
News
History - 1870s
 READ MORE

1877: The first Championships

It all began with an announcement in the leisure magazine The Field on 9 June 1877 that "The All England Croquet and Lawn Tennis Club, Wimbledon, propose to hold a lawn tennis meeting, open to all amateurs, on Monday July 9th and following days".

A total of 22 men - no women were permitted at that stage - stumped up the £1 1 shilling entrance fee, being warned to bring their own rackets and “shoes without heels” but that balls would be provided by the club gardener.

The All England Club had been founded solely for the purpose of croquet in 1869 on four acres of rented meadowland at Worple Road, Wimbledon but croquet was rapidly overtaken by the new pastime of tennis.

Conditions were primitive. A temporary three-plank stand offered seats for 30 people, the total attendance for the final was 200, the rackets resembled snowshoes in shape and weight and the balls had hand-sewn flannel outer casings.