Tennis has certainly evolved over the years. Historians believe that the game's ancient origin lay in 12th century northern France, where a ball was struck with the palm of the hand. Louis X of France was a keen player of jeu de paume ("game of the palm"), which evolved into real tennis, and became notable as the first person to construct indoor tennis courts in the modern style. Louis was unhappy with playing tennis outdoors and accordingly had indoor, enclosed courts made in Paris "around the end of the 13th century". It wasn't until the 16th century that rackets came into use, and the game began to be called "tennis", from the Old French term tenez, which can be translated as "hold!", "receive!" or "take!", an interjection used as a call from the server to his opponent. It was popular in England and France, although the game was only played indoors where the ball could be hit off the wall. Henry VIII of England was a big fan of this game, which is now known as real tennis. The patenting of the first lawn mower in 1830, in Britain, is strongly believed to have been the catalyst, world-wide, for the preparation of modern-style grass courts, sporting ovals, playing fields, pitches, greens, etc. Between 1859 and 1865 Harry Gem and his friend Augurio Perera developed a game that combined elements of racquets and the Basque ball game pelota, which they played on Perera's croquet lawn in Birmingham, England, United Kingdom. In 1872, along with two local doctors, they founded the world's first tennis club in Leamington Spa. The world's oldest tennis tournament, the Wimbledon Championships, were first played in London in 1877.
The Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Museum is the largest tennis museum in the world. Amongst other features are- Cinema: The Museum’s cinema features a 200 degree screen which is currently showing a film about the science of tennis. Filming took place during the 2005 Championships on Centre Court of Russia's Maria Sharapova against Spain's Nuria Llagostera Vives. The film focuses on 20 different aspects of the match and showed viewers how players' bodies and equipment are affected during the course of a match. John McEnroe's Ghost: Through new projection and filming technology, the museum has created a ghost-like-image to take you on a tour of the normally off-limits area. McEnroe reminisces about the dressing room, including how he first met Jimmy Connors and how he would emotionally prepare himself for matches. The Whites of Wimbledon: There is an extensive collection of past and present fashions of Wimbledon attire. Everything from outfits worn in the 1880s to Rafael Nadal's dri-fit 'pirate' trousers are on display. There is also an interactive exhibit where you can feel the weight difference between male and female clothing in 1884. Technology: Interactive touch screen consoles are evenly distributed throughout the Museum hallways. Other features include the 'Get a Grip' rotating wheel of rackets; 'The Reactor' game and an archive of great past Championship matches. CentreCourt360: CC360 is a viewing platform for museum guests to experience Centre Court. There are touch screen computers inside the platform that offer information in 8 different languages: English, French, German, Spanish, Italian, Japanese, Mandarin, Russian, Croatian and Russian. Entry to the Museum is via stairs or lift (DDA compliant) to the floor below. Seating is provided at various points around the Museum, and the displays are positioned for use by wheelchair users. The 3D cinema has dedicated spaces for wheelchairs. The Tour of the Grounds takes about 90 minutes. The route includes many steps which some might find challenging. An alternative step-free route is available. One free child per paying adult - use code FAMILY if booking online.
Location : All England Lawn Tennis Club, Church Road, Wimbledon SW19 5AE.
Transport: Southfields (District Line). London Buses route 493 stops nearby (Shuttle during Championships).
Opening Times: Daily 10:00 to 17:30.
Access for Ticket holders only during Championships.
Tickets : Adults £13.00 Concessions £11.00 Children £8.00.
With Tour : Adults £24.00 Concessions £21.00 Children £15.00.
Tel: 020 8946 6131