Wimbledon's tennis beginnings
The Wimbledon Tennis Championships have been held at the All England club in Wimbledon since 1877. This makes this tennis competition the oldest of its kind in the world.
The All England Club was originally created in 1868 but t that time its main sporting activity was croquet. In 1874 lawn tennis was invented by Major Walter Clopton Wingfield. This game was added to the itinerary at the All England club in 1875.
Early in 1877 the club's name was changed to The All England Croquet and Lawn Tennis Club and the first lawn tennis championship took place.
As was the norm back in the 19th century the contest was originally dominated by male players. In fact only male players were allowed to participate. The principal tennis court was located in the centre which is why to this day this court is called the Centre Court. Tennis took off and by 1872 croquet was dropped from the club.
1884 saw the first women involved in the competition participating in ladies singles. In 1913 ladies doubles and mixed doubles were introduced.
Despite the fact that I rarely watch Wimbledon the mainstream news is full of coverage. This means that it is hard to miss events.
In the past we had babies Jimmy Connors and John McEnroe playing exceptionally well but often being remembered for their tears and tantrums; Bjorn Borg who retired whilst still a successful tennis player at the age of 25 was one for the ladies. He played a stylish game and was memorable also for his headband.
In the fifties the female players wore conservative white short dresses. which became shorter and shorter over the years. These days players like the Williams twins play dressed in sportswear perfect for the job in hand.
There have been some grunters over the years who have huffed and puffed their way to stardom leaving one to wonder if this is tactics to distract the opposition.
June in England is traditionally our strawberry season. If the weather has been good there will be a glut of them in the shops; so much so that the price plummets swiftly but not so at Wimbledon. Traditionally champagne is drunk at Wimbledon and strawberries and cream are scoffed. All of this comes at a hefty price.
The competition has continued to grow and increase in popularity over the years. In 2009 after so many years of the competition being delayed due to rain a retractable roof was installed. Perhaps this is what has heralded a new era of good weather.
Wimbledon and tennis will not appeal to everyone. However for those fans who are passionate sleeping outside of the All England club in order to buy the best seat tickets is normal practice. The BBC runs full coverage of the contest and its channels are dominated by tennis for a few weeks each summer.
The last English person to win Wimbledon was Fred Perry back in the 1930's. Fred was the world number one seed from 1934 to 1938. Since then England has had the odd glimmer of hope but little success. Tim Henman was England's hope for many years and although he often won through to the later stages of the contest he never actually won. Andy Murry is there these days but as a British rather than English representative; he is a Scotsman.
The English are funny creatures and Scotsman Andy Murray is now England's best hope of future success. When we English have no-one left in the competition we adopt our British neighbours as our own.
Wimbledon 2015 runs from June 29 until July 12.
Tickets for Wimbledon 2016 will soon disappear. If you are interested in attending check out the Wimbledon website but be quick about it.
As usual tickets pre-booked are balloted and it's not as easy as just calling up a ticket hotline - to apply for next year's tickets you need to enter the public ballot.
The ballot is always oversubscribed so an entry does not guarantee tickets it simply enables you to have a place in the draw.
Ashbourne News says "To enter the ballot you must request an application between August 1 and December 15 2015. Send a self-addressed stamped envelope to AELTC, P.O BOX 98, London, SW19 5AE. If you miss the ballot you can queue and buy tickets during the two-week event.
NEWTEKNEWS says - Good luck to those of you applying for tickets. As Wimbledon is popular, especially those games held in the Centre Court, entrants are put into a ballot. This is claimed to be a fair draw which means that there are no guarantees you will receive tickets.