It began with an announcement in the English 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”. However, women were excluded and a total of 22 men paid the one guinea entrance fee, being warned to bring their own rackets and “shoes without heels” but that balls would be provided by the club’s gardener. The All England Club was founded in 1869 solely for the purpose of playing croquet on four acres of rented meadow land at Worple Road, Wimbledon, but by 1877 the popularity of croquet was rapidly being overtaken by the new pastime of tennis. By 1920 the championships had outgrown the Worple Road site and land was purchased in nearby Church Road. The first tournament was held there in 1922. Nowadays The Championships at Wimbledon is probably the most popular tennis tournament in the world.
The Gambia issued a 20-stamp set in 1990 featuring 10 male and 10 female players who had won Wimbledon titles. Two souvenir sheets were also produced (see top of article).
In 2003 Australia issued stamps entitled “Australian Legends”. The se-tenant 4-stamp block above has action and portrait images of great Australian Wimbledon Champions Margaret Court and Rod Laver. Below is a great stamp sheet from 2016 on the same theme, featuring 10 former tennis greats from the land down under.
Another pair of Australian tennis stars’ stamps from 2016, featuring former Wimbledon Doubles Champions, Tony Roche and Fred Stolle
Above we have two stamps produced by Monaco in 1977. The stamp, shown left, commemorates the 50th anniversary of the Monegasque Tennis Federation, the governing body for tennis in Monaco, founded in 1927. The stamp seen right celebrates the 100th anniversary of the All England Croquet and Lawn Tennis Club, founded in 1877.
And then we have stamps from Sierra Leone (1987). They feature Wimbledon winners Evonne Goolagong, Bjorn Borg, Chris Evert, Martina Navratilova, Boris Becker, Virginia Wade, Jimmy Connors and John McEnroe.
The above stamp sheets, also from Sierra Leone, depict the German players Boris Becker and Steffi Graf.
To celebrate the Scottish player Andy Murray’s 2003 victory in the Wimbledon men’s final, Great Britain issued the above stamp sheet.
In 1956 Althea Gibson, seen on the imperforate stamp pair above, became the first African American to win a Grand Slam title (the French Championships). The following year she won both ladies’ titles at Wimbledon and the US Nationals (precursor of the US Open), then won both again in 1958. Please follow the link for more about Althea Gibson https://freestampmagazine.com/2022/03/08/black-heritage-part-13/
Maureen ‘Little Mo’ Connolly won a treble of successive Women’s Singles Wimbledon Championships, the first as a teenager, and looked like dominating the 1950s until a broken leg suffered in a riding accident to brought a premature end to her meteoric career.