Published on July 3rd, 2017 | by Michelle Roper-Shaw0
Anyone for Tennis?
One of the highlights of the sporting calendar starts today at Wimbledon. Will Andy Murray be able to retain his crown? Or will Johanna Konta emulate Virginia Wade to lift the Venus Rose trophy in a fortnight’s time?
Is it just a year ago that we were celebrating Murray Wins Wimbledon? It was the start of an incredible run of form for the Scot, culminating in him reaching number one in the world and a knighthood.
This year, the Wimbledon Gentlemen’s and Ladies’ singles champions will earn a record £2.2 million. The Championships have come a long way from their first year back in 1877. Back then, the winner, Spencer Gore won 12 guineas in prize money and a silver cup.
From the Ancient Greeks to SW19
Whilst the lawn tennis game emerged in Victorian times, the game is thought to originate over 1000 years ago. In ancient Greece, Egypt and Rome different variations of tennis were played. It is thought that the word “tennis” originates from the Egyptian town, Tinnis by the Nile. Even the word racquet comes from the Arabic word for palm of the hand, rahat.
During the eleventh and twelfth century, French monks played a handball game where the ball was hit over the monastery wall, or a rope across a courtyard.
Henry VIII introduced “real tennis” indoor courts to Hampton Court in the 1600s. They are still in use today.
Yet, the popularity of grass courts began during the 1800s. Croquet lawns were easy to adapt to tennis courts and the sport became a pastime enjoyed by the middle and upper classes. In fact, The Championships are held at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, Wimbledon.
New Tennis Films Released by The British Film Institute
To coincide with Wimbledon, the British Film Institute (BFI) has released over 70 films dating back from 1903 onwards showing the changing face of tennis. Included in the archive is a film from 1926 showing The Queen’s father, George VI, then the Duke of York, playing at Wimbledon.
This unique footage is the only time a member of the Royal Family has played at the actual tournament. The Duke of York played in the Men’s Doubles, and his wife watched from the stands. Unfortunately, he lost in the first round.
Sporting Legends at the Post Office Shop
The world of Sport is remembered with a wide range of stamps and other collectible memorabilia at the Post Office Shop. Events including London 2012 Olympics and the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games are featured in this great collection. For fans of Golf, the limited edition 2014 Ryder Cup Gleneagles Medal Cover is something to treasure.