The modern version of tennis is credited to a Welsh major named Walter Clopton Wingfield, who patented the game in 1874. Wingfield gave his pastime two names: the Greek derived “sphairistike” and “lawn tennis.” Not surprisingly, the second name stuck.

Within a year, the All England Croquet Club at Wimbledon had added lawn tennis to the diversions offered to its members, and in 1877, the words “Lawn Tennis” were formally added to its name. That was also the year the club held its first championship in men’s singles. Tournament play for what we now call the U.S. Open began in Newport, Rhode Island, in 1881. Thus, the first two tennis Grand Slams were born—the first French Open was played in 1891, the Australian Open arrived in 1905, and in 1915 the U.S. Open moved to Forest Hills, New York.

For collectors of tennis memorabilia, anything from the 19th century is a prize, be it a wooden racquet strung with gut or an early trophy, although such pieces are mostly the stuff of museums and exclusive private collections.

More accessible are items from the 1920s, the so-called golden age of tennis. On the men’s side, when Bill Tilden wasn’t winning Wimbledon, René Lacoste (of crocodile-logo-shirt fame) was. Helen Wills Moody was the star among female players, winning Wimbledon eight times in the ’20s and ’30s, which stood as the record until Martina Navratilova won her ninth in 2000.

Vintage tennis memorabilia from the years between the wars include sports posters advertising matches at Wimbledon, the availability of courts at a luxury resort, or the latest Slazenger or Spalding tennis balls. More recently, posters from Roland Garros, site of the French Open, have gained a following. Ticket stubs to any of the Grand Slams are also collected.

For some reason, vintage tennis racquets are not as expensive as you might think they would be. Some people collect racquets of famous players. Jack Kramer swung a wooden Wilson, and his namesake racquet was introduced in 1948. Rod Laver and John McEnroe, whose on-court demeanor could not have been more different, both used a Dunlop Maxply, while Bjorn Born played with Bancrofts and Donnays.

Arthur Ashe was a racquet pioneer, playing a Head metal-and-plastic racquet called the Arthur Ashe Competition in 1969—its flat face was distinctive but did not last in tennis ci...

Today, the most widely collected tennis items are probably tennis-ball cans, from cardboard to metal, and player autographs. Collectors and fans look for signatures on everything from tennis balls to photographs, trading cards, and magazine covers.

About our sources | Got something to add?

▼ Expand to read the full article ▼

Best of the Web (“Hall of Fame”)

Vintage Tennis Balls

Vintage Tennis Balls

Brad McCall serves up the definitive vintage tennis ball site ('hermetically sealed fresh under pressure'). Browse … [read review or visit site]

The Wheelmen

The Wheelmen

This elegant tribute to turn-of-the-century bicycling includes memorabilia, photographs, and an index of 3140 bicyc… [read review or visit site]

Clubs & Associations

Other Great Reference Sites

Most watched eBay auctions    

Antique Vintage Tennis Racquet Racket.old Henry V Nr!Roger Federer Custom Pro Stock Racquet- Wilson Blx Pro Staff Sixone 90 Paint Job2012 Ace Grand Slam 3 Sm7-1 Maria Sharapova Match Used Towel Card2013 Ace Authentic Autograph Roger Federer Gsrf1 Cyan 1/1 Psa AuthVintage "zephyr" Racquet Press Original Tennis Store Display! Very RareAnna Kournikova Autograph Authenticcoa Tennis Star And Model 8x10 Photo UaccRoger Federer Autographed Wimbeldon 2014 Tennis Ball With CoaVintage Prince Triple Threat Ring Tennis Racquet & CoverVintage Wood 1930 Belknap Hardware Louisville Kentucky Tennis RacketExcellent Vintage 1910s Wood Reach Newport Tennis Racket Original Strings IntactAndre Agassi Autographed Signed Full Size Wilson Tennis Racquet Psa/dna Mens Green/yellow Nike Dri Fit Premier Oregon Ducks Tennis Polo Shirt Size XlSlazenger 1973 L T A Official 4 Wimbledon Nylon-armoured Tennis Balls New BoxedNike Roger Federer Polo Shirt Nwt Mens L 618924 308 NwtVintage Wilson Don Budge Famous Players Series Wooden Tennis Racquet2013 Ace Grand Slam Tennis Auto Lot Of 8 Kerber Brodsky Luzhanska Yen-hsun Lu #dVintage Spalding Pancho Gonzales Autograph Wooden Tennis Racquet2014 Barclays Atp World Tour Finals Official Programme: Mens Atp Tennis Near Mint! Tad Davis Hi Point Vintage Tennis Racquet Andre Agassi Signed Tennis BallVintage Mint Tennis Ball Caddy2012 Topps Olympic Timothy Wang Team Flag Patch Card ~ Table Tennis ~ Ping PongRoger Federer 2012 Topps Allen And Ginter RelicVintage Leather Cow Hide Raquet Ball Tennis Bag Handmade In BrazilRoger Federer Autographed Wimbledon 2014 Tennis Ball With CoaRoger Federer Autographed Signed 8x10 PhotoYvon Petra (wimbledon Champion 1946), White Card, Originally Signed!Vintage Polo Sport Rl Yellow Cap Hat Big P Outdoor Golf Tennis Fishing Rare Vintage Antique Early 1900's Horsman Clermont Tennis RacquetBruce Barnes Iii Professional Model Wilson Tennis Raquet & Wooden Keeper VintageVintage Tennis Balls..white 1960's John Newcombe By RawlingsDunlop Marty Riessen Tennis Racquet M 4.5 Vintage!Vintage Dunlop Tennis BallsBeijing 2008 Olympic Mascot Silver Coin - Table TennisAnna Kournikova Signed Tennis BallAntique Tennis Racquet Slazenger With Compressor Tennis Racket L1705Tobacco Card Album & Cards, John Player, Tennis, How To Play, Perry Etc, 1936Pete Sampras & Patrick Rafter Signed Wimbledon 2000 Tennis T-shirt With CoaRare "sounds Of Sawgrass" Flexi-disc Promo Record 1981 Arvida Resort Golf TennisVintage Prince Classic Tennis Racket Carrying Case Tennis Racket BagPro Kennex Golden Ace * Jose Luis-clerc * Vintage *Tennis Legend Andre Agassi Signed 8x10 Wimbledon 2x U.s. 4x Austrailian Champion1934 Photo English Star Fred Perry World #1 Tennis Player Wimbledon Vintage Tennis Balls..white 1960's Bancroft TretornPrince Cts Blast Oversize 4 3/8 No.3 Vintage 1990 Tennis Racquet With CaseFramed Lady Volunteers Flag University Of Tennessee Tennis Team Abc Wide World Of Sports 3920 Crown Brisbane Tennis Racquet Bamboo Overlay VtgTottenham Hotspur Ticket Office Poster V Wimbledon Original 93/1994 SeasonManuel Santana. 1968 Chocolate Simon. Tennis Card From Spain.Vintage Tennis And Ski Original Patch Team Pin Poster GermanRoger Federer Tennis Us Open 8x10 Photo Photograph Print PosterAtp World Tour Blue Rubber Tennis Wristband Nadal Federer DjokovicVintage Wilson Chris Evert Autograph Laminated Wood Tennis Racket2013 Ace Auto Grand Slam Eric Butorac Autograph Tennis CertifedAfc Wimbledon Vs Tranmere Rovers - 2014/15 Sbl2 Skybet League Two Signed Photo - Tennis Player Martina HingisRoger Federer Vs. Rafael Nadal Vs. Novak Djokovic Australian Open/us Open DvdKenneth Rosewall Former Professional Tennis Player Hand Signed Photo Card Mami Inoue Ace Authentic Card Auto/85 Tennis 2010 Authentic Autograph 53 $$1978 Finnish Sportscaster Tennis #15-355 Ken Rosewall Australia

Recent News: Tennis

Source: Google News

Sie sind hier: Startseite > Tennis > Top News > Gael Monfils sagt Start in ..., November 29th

Das Teilnehmerfeld beim Rasenturnier im ostwestfälischen Halle (15. bis 21. Juni) nimmt Konturen an. Nach Rekordsieger Roger Federer (Schweiz) und dem Japaner Kei Nishikori sagte auch Davis-Cup-Finalist Gael Monfils (Frankreich) für die ...Read more

Sie sind hier: Startseite > Tennis > Top News > Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic ..., November 26th

Spektakel statt Ruhe, Trubel statt Idylle, Fernost statt Basel: Für Superstar Roger Federer ist das Tennisjahr auch nach dem historischen Triumph mit dem Schweizer Davis-Cup-Team noch nicht vorbei. Schließlich steht die neue millionenschwere...Read more

Sie sind hier: Startseite > Tennis > Top News > Doppel Roger Federer/Stan ..., November 22nd

Die beiden Tennisstars Roger Federer und Stan Wawrinka haben die Schweiz dem historischen ersten Titel im Davis Cup einen großen Schritt näher gebracht. Die Doppel-Olympiasieger von Peking setzten sich im Finale in Lille gegen das französische Duo ...Read more

Sieg über Marin Cilic: Thomas Berdych wahrt beim Tour-Finale Chance auf ..., November 12th

Tomas Berdych hat seine Chance auf den Halbfinal-Einzug bei den ATP World Tour Finals in London gewahrt. Im Duell der Auftakt-Verlierer setzte sich der an Nummer sechs gesetzte Tscheche mit 6:3, 6:1 gegen Marin Cilic (Kroatien/Nr. 8) durch. Berdych ...Read more

Fed-Cup-Finale gegen DTB-Team: Petra Kvitova führt Tschechien an, October 13th

Wimbledonsiegerin Petra Kvitova führt wie erwartet das tschechische Team im Fed-Cup-Finale gegen Deutschland am 8./9. November in Prag an. Teamkapitän Petr Pala berief am Montag zudem Lucie Safarova, Karolina Pliskova, Andrea Hlavackova und ...Read more

Alexander Zverev folgt Tobias Kamke ins Achtelfinale des ATP-Turniers in ..., July 16th

Angeführt vom Weltranglisten-26. Philipp Kohlschreiber und von Youngster Alexander Zverev ist das verbliebene deutsche Quartett am Mittwoch geschlossen ins Achtelfinale des Sandplatzturniers in Hamburg eingezogen. In seiner Zweitrundenpartie hatte ...Read more

Wieder frühes Aus von Lisicki, April 23rd

Die Krise geht weiter: Wimbledon-Finalistin Sabine Lisicki hat ihre Negativserie auch beim "Heimspiel" fortgesetzt und ist in der ersten Runde des WTA-Turniers in Stuttgart ausgeschieden. Die 24-Jährige aus Berlin zeigte beim 1:6, 3:6 gegen die an...Read more

Tennis: Elks are unbeaten state champs after final conquest, 5-2 over Wayzata
Star News, June 7th

6-1, 6-2 (2) John Kowalczyk-Matt Halverson, W, def. Dylan Berger-Jesse Bragg, ER, 7-6 (4), 5-7, 12-10 (3) Jake Strom-Jack Garvey, W, def. Nathan Chanthamontry-Steven Delain 6-2, 6-2. Filed Under: Elk River, Elk River boys tennis, top news · email...Read more